State’s first-ever Seed Processing Plant all set to start functioning by Sept

Seed Processing Plant under construction at Manjali Kathua. —Excelsior/Pardeep
Seed Processing Plant under construction at Manjali Kathua. —Excelsior/Pardeep

Over 30,000 farmers to benefit

Avtar Bhat
JAMMU, July 12: The National Seed Processing Plant which is under construction at Manjali in Kathua district is all set to start functioning from the month of September this year.
The seed processing plant will supply the seed of latest technology to the farmers of the State which will help in boosting their agriculture production and doubling their income to a great extent.
The Seed Plant is being established by National Seed Corporation Limited (NSCL), Northern Zone Chandigarh at an approximately cost of Rs 2.50 crore. The work on the construction of Godown which was started in November last year will be completed by August this year, official sources said.
Construction of godown will be followed by installation of machinery for seed processing and the same will not take much time, sources, said adding the Seed Processing Plant has been established in collaboration with J&K Agriculture Department and the Sher-e-Kashmir Agricultural University, R S Pura Jammu will also be involved in research work of latest products of seed.
The Agriculture Department Jammu has allotted two acres of land for the plant to National Seed Corporation of India and the foundation stone of the plant was laid on September 13 last year by Union Minister, Dr Jitendra Singh, who also represents Kathua, Udhampur and Doda constituency in Lok Sabha.
From this seed plant quality and high productive seed will be supplied to farmers of Kathua and adjoining districts of Jammu region as well as other parts of the State keeping in view the climatic conditions of the area.
About 600 to 1000 farmers of Kathua district and surrounding districts in initial stage will be given the task of producing seed after selling of which their economy will get boost to a great extent, sources said.
The farmers of the State will be immensely benefitted with the establishment of the plant which is of its latest technology. The seed processed in the plant will be supplied among the farmers after being given certification by State Agriculture Department, sources said.
The plant will have capacity of processing 30,000 quintals of seed and 15 to 20 local people will get employment in the same also. After the commissioning of the plant, 30,000 to 40,000 farmers will be supplied the seed of latest technology which will increase their production, Regional Manager of National Seed Corporation of India Ltd, Mukesh Kumar Jaat said.
It may be recalled that a meeting of senior officers of Department of Agriculture, Revenue Department and representatives of National Seed Corporation Ltd.(NSCL) Mohali, Chandigarh was convened here on April 21 last year, under the chairmanship of Secretary State, Agriculture Production Department, to finalize the draft Memorandum of Understanding between the two institutions for establishing Seed Processing and Storage Unit on 16 Kanals of land at Village Taraf Manjali,Tehsil & District Kathua .
The proposed unit is a welfare step of the Government of India and the State Government for the benefit of farming community and it is for the first time National Seed Corporation of India Limited is establishing Seed Processing Plant in the J&K for the benefit of the farming community.
The initiative for the establishment of Seed Plant in the State was taken by Union Minister of State in PMO, Dr Jitendra Singh for the benefit of the farmers of the State in 2017 after taking the issue with the concerned Union Ministry.
The setting up of the unit is aimed at augmenting quality seed supply to the farmers which shall be readily available to them in adequate quantity and at the right time. Seed being the most vital and crucial input for crop production can boost productivity and production and in turn increase the income of the farmers. This step will ultimately help in doubling the income of farmers of the State in the years to come.
With the establishment of this unit at Kathua, the farmers of the State will get a big relief as the State Agriculture Department is presently procuring the processed seed from Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. The quality seed will be timely available in the State from next sowing season. During the meeting the Secretary Agriculture issued instructions to speed up the process for establishment of seed processing facilities in J&K for which Government has already transferred 16 kanals of land to Agriculture Department. It was apprised that the tentative cost of Seed Processing Unit including storage facility is of the order of Rs. 8 crore which shall be borne entirely by National Seed Corporation Limited.
Director Agriculture, P S Rathore said the Agriculture Department has limited role in establishment of the plant but the seeds processed in it will be given certification by the Department.