Ramban:Ramban district has shown an exponential growth in agriculture sector thanks to the interventions brought about by the Chenab Intensive Vegetable Development Project (CIVDP).Under the programme, the Agriculture Department has adopted five villages viz Kenthi, Pernote in tehsil Ramban, Asher and Mohu in tehsil Khari and Chhachhwa in tehsil Gool.Under the Project farmers are provided logistical, technical and material assistance to increase farm income and adopt organic farming.According to the Chief Agriculture Officer (CAO), the Agriculture department has adopted 20 hectare land of 50 progressive farmers in each adopted village to achieve the Prime Minister, Narinder Modi’s aim of doubling their income by 2022.Encouraged by the assistance of the Agriculture Department, the farmers of these villages believe that very soon they would double their income.A farmer, Badrinath claimed that this year pea worth Rs. 40 lakh was sold in the market from Kenthi village, alone.As per the official figures, last year the five villages produced 4500 qtl vegetable having market value of Rs. 11.25 crore.This year too, despite prevailing COVID-19 situation, the farmers in coordination with agriculture department are determined to surpass the last year target.The farmers are looking forward for hefty returns through organic farming and off-season crop production with the help of subsidized hybrid seeds, implements, water pipes, Vermicompost units etc.During the COVID-19 lockdown, the department has provided 680 qtl of high quality pulses, Fodder and Maize seeds costing Rs. 63.69 lakh to farmers on subsidized rates, besides providing 6419 qtl fertilizers through registered dealers across the district.
Another farming activity, Beekeeping under Apiculture sector is growing leaps and bounds in district Ramban especially in Sub- division Ramsoo and Banihal as about 430 families are involved in this farming.As per the CAO, 2360 qtl honey, having market value Rs.11 crore, was produced during last season. He added that a total of 27106 Bee colonies are surviving and the department is focusing on tapping the full potential by raising 10, 000 Bee coloniesin the district.The district Ramban is one of the hilly districts in the State of Jammu and Kashmir endowed with appropriate climatic conditions for Olive plantation spreading over 10.80 hectare land, from which 1.07 metric ton Olive is produced every year.The olive tree is considered as an important part of human life and a crucial one in the Mediterranean civilization in particular since the very advent of human life. For centuries, this tree has fulfilled many basic needs of man’s daily life. It has left an important impact in the basic aspect of civilization such as history, mythology, ecology, philosophy, archeology, medicine and agriculture.The Horticulture department is running an olive extraction unit at Govindpura Ramban to promote olive plantation.The climatic conditions vary according to the altitude. In low lying areas like Ramban town temperature rises up to 42°C and on high reaches it drops to even sub zero level.This climatic variation has broadened the scope for growing Olive plantation.The officers and officials regularly interact and meet locals with different policies and innovative techniques right from seedling to storage of produce as well as preservation and marketing.In these areas, the farmers are earning a good livelihood from the olive plantation which would help the farmers to enhance their income.In this context, it is worthwhile to realise the role of agriculture in economic development of such hilly areas.