Seeds’ processing to boost agriculture

Processing of seeds for agricultural pur-poses will ensure not only a fillip in cropproduction but its comparative betterquality. It is well known that there are more thanone physical characters of seeds like its size,shape, texture, length, colour and weight asalso its affinity to liquid and electrical conductiv-ity and the processing could be done on one ormore attributes. Processed seeds of new quali-ty crop and its different varieties empower farm-ers to exploit the potential in such seeds toensure more, healthy and economically growncrops. This step could herald the march towardsdoubling of farmers’ income. Having said so, it isheartening to note that the state is all set tohave the first National Seed Processing Plantwith an ambition to bring a vast majority of ourfarmers nearly over thirty thousand under itsdirect ambit to get the requisite benefits. We canexpect the actual functioning of the plant from orby September this very year as the plant at acost of Rs. 2.50 crore is presently fast movingtowards its complete construction. The plant isembarking upon to have the full capacity of pro-cessing, expectedly 30000 quintals of seeds.This plant, established by National SeedCorporation Limited, North Zone, Chandigarh,the first of its kind, is at Manjali in Kathua dis-trict. Not only are our farmers going to be vastlybenefitted but even homeowners who, either asa pastime or in real sense, were eager to puttheir lawns and kitchen gardens to the optimumuse in growing horticulture crops, flowers, veg-etables and the like. Germination percentage,purity, strength and appearance, all are doublyensured by using the processed seeds. Merelymaking agriculture and dotted strains in theconventional activity, a political issue to brow-beat one another politically, agriculture was notgoing to improve in productivity, quality andbeing less input cost oriented but a long rangeof different measures were prudently to be takento bring drastic changes in this vital sector. Wehave in our State, a peculiar problem of con-stantly shrinking of fertile agricultural land inboth Jammu and Kashmir divisions due to vari-ous factors which is alarming. Not only aremany farmers, especially the younger genera-tion, reportedly bidding adieu to the main agri-cultural activity but vast chunks of land are”made” to convert into un-irrigated and barrencategory, of course on papers, to facilitate con-structing of residential houses, cluster of shops,offices, factories etc. Availability of processedseeds from the Kathua plant would reallychange the mindset and the trend, looking tolucrative results expected to be registered bythose who got the processed seeds. The upcoming plan, hopefully was going togenerate economic activity on a micro basis, inthat nearly 1000 farmers from Kathua and sur-rounding districts in the initial stages, would begiven the task of producing seeds and oncesold , their economic condition was expected toimprove. Government has already schemes toboost the activities of the private sector forwhich financial assistance too is assured on softterms. With the expected successful functioningof the Processing Plant under reference inKathua, many from the private sector would bemotivated to start more of such units. The aim,however, should be as to how the farming com-munity benefited from the latest technologyresulting in boost in agriculture and their moneyincomes.