SRINAGAR: Union minister Jitendra Singh on Friday accused the previous governments of deliberately discouraging start-ups in Jammu and Kashmir so that the youth remains perpetually dependent on salaried government jobs and continues to hang around the political masters of the day.
As a result, the region’s immense potential for entrepreneurship and self-livelihood remained unexplored, Singh said while addressing an interactive meet of agricultural start-ups and farmers organised jointly by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST) here.
This is for the first time in the last few years that under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, concerted and technology-based effort has been made to promote the agriculture sector for young start-ups in the region, the Minister of State for PMO, science and technology, earth sciences, personnel, public grievances, pensions, and atomic energy and space said.
“Whereas in the past, farmers and agriculturists would largely depend upon the mood of climate and vagaries of nature for cultivation, in the last few years, new areas like lavender cultivation have been explored at a large scale both in the Kashmir valley and the areas around Gulmarg as well as the Jammu region in Doda and Reasi districts,” he said.
Singh said no government in any country of the world can ensure 100 per cent salaried government jobs to every youth, but a responsible government always plans to promote means of livelihood and this is precisely what the Modi government is trying to seek.
He said a sustained awareness campaign needs to be launched among the youth and their parents to educate them that there are much more lucrative emoluments available through these self-livelihood and new start-up options and, therefore, they should not be led to waste their time and energy in protesting for government salaried jobs.
Singh said the farmer today is actually an agricultural technocrat or an agricultural start-up who has the option of making handsome profits using new technology and provisions introduced in the agricultural sector by the prime minister.
He said the Union government through CSIR is providing all relevant financial and technical support for new modes of cultivation, multiple integrated farming and also hybrid farming which have the capacity to double farmers’ income by 2022, as envisaged by the prime minister.
On the occasion, Singh also distributed farming kits to agriculturists drawn from all the 10 districts of Kashmir valley while the CSIR and SKUAST signed a Memorandum of Understanding for collaboration.

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