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J&K Plans to Boost Oilseeds Cultivation to Enhance Edible Oil Sector

The current release of the final report by the Apex Committee led by Mangla Rai, Former DG ICAR under HADP introduced the roadmap for the application of 29 projects.

Shivangi Rai
Oilseeds Field in Jammu & Kashmir
Oilseeds Field in Jammu & Kashmir

Notably, among the agreed projects, the promotion of oilseed cultivation has been given due importance. Using various interventions, the oilseed project targeted expanding oilseed production and productivity with a deemed annual output worth Rs 1,290 crore as per the statement from the J-K administration on Monday.

Atal Dulloo, Additional Chief Secretary of the Agriculture Production Department restated that Jammu and Kashmir’s edible oil industry is about to receive a considerable boost.

Aiming to promote oilseed cultivation in the region with a project expenditure of Rs 31 crore the department will be implementing a multifaceted initiative.

The statement said this three-year project is expected to generate more job opportunities and contribute towards the overall economic growth of the region.

Aptly, oilseed production is an important sector of agriculture in India contributing remarkably towards the country’s economy.

With an annual production of approximately 37 to 38 million metric tons, India is one of the largest producers of oilseeds in the world. Despite this, India is the largest importer of vegetable oils as well followed by the US and China.

Known for its distinct agro-climatic conditions, Jammu and Kashmir offers a suitable environment for the cultivation of varied crops including oilseeds. Also, the state intends to bring 2,10,000 hectares under oilseed cultivation from the current 1,40,000 hectares over the next three years.

Around 2,02,500 hectares will be covered under mustard and rapeseed cultivation and 75,000 hectares will be covered under sesame cultivation.

The additional areas covered under the potential districts besides 70,000 hectares are Samba, Kathua, Udhampur, Jammu, Pulwama, Reasi, Anantnag, Budgam, Rajouri, Kulgam, and Ganderbal, and districts like Ramban, Bandipora, Doda, and Shopian by using fallow lands cultivable wastelands and leveraging increased cropping intensity apart from the promotion of the intercropping system.

The Union Territory’s requirement is Rs 14.20 lakh quintals whereas it is producing only 3.36 lakh quintals. Thus, this initiative is crucial for the region’s food security and economic growth.

The farmers will receive 50 percent assistance as a part of the project with a subsidy ceiling of Rs 4,000 percent per quintal for buying high-yielding varieties of rapeseed and mustard.

Likewise, a ceiling of Rs 8,000 per quintal with a subsidy of 50 percent will be provided to beneficiaries for obtaining hybrid mustard, rapeseed, and improved varieties of sesame seeds.

In addition to this, for improving the seed replacement rate of oilseeds, a 50 percent subsidy with a ceiling of Rs 2,500 percent quintal will be offered for production foundation and certified seeds to expand productivity and promote area expansion.

With the expectation to lead to a net increase in return to farmers by 10 to 12 percent and a reduction in the input costs by 15 to 20 percent, the project is generating thousands of jobs and hundreds of enterprises.

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