By JSG (NL Desk)
Jammu Tawi, Feb 07: More than six years have passed since the announcement of Agriculture Policy in J&K state, but the state agriculture policy has yet see the light of the day.
The policy that is to serve as the foundation covering all the necessary ingredients to ensure sustainable agrarian growth in the state may be either shuttling between various layers of red-tape or licking dust in some obscure corner of the civil secretariat.
The final nail in the coffin of Agriculture department seems to have hit by the Government Order 184 GAD of 2019 dated 07-02-2019 wherein the technical post of Agriculture Director shall be held by an Administrative Officer who would not be more than a novice in the field of Agriculture.
The higher-ups in the administration and the politics may conveniently absolve themselves of the responsibilities, but the blast of the bomb-shell has to be borne by the technocrats as reflected in the new decision of the government.
Seriousness toward this vital area seems to have least priority for the government of the day. Within eight months of Governor's Rule in Jammu Kashmir, the Agriculture Production Department (APD) got the fourth Advisor to head it. The human resource of different wings of the APD as well as the farming community continued to have high hopes from each of the esteemed and high profile three Advisors namely Khurshid Ahmad Ganai, BB Vyas and K. Vijay Kumar, but each of them left the Department in a lurch in quick succession. Now, the election bugle has been sounded and the political parties vying for power and in the process, how much the newly appointed Advisor on 01 February 2019, K. Skandan shall be able to redress almost four decade old grievances of the Department is for everybody to imagine, while keeping the fingers crossed.
For the last several decades the officers of the Department are waiting for holding the mandatory Departmental Promotion Committee meetings by the Government/the State Public Service Commission so that they could get their rightful dues and placements, but nobody at the helm seems to be caring. The official work is going on, no doubt at the cost of the career prospects of the agriculture officers many of whom has either retired or expired. The Governments, whether under the democratic dispensation or the Governor's dispensation have been unable to vet/ approve any State Agriculture Policy despite repeated announcements to this effect and despite the fact that the technical departments have reportedly given their inputs to the designated Committees a number of times since 2012-13.
Similarly, the successive Governments have been unable to take a decision on implementation of so much an important Act as the Model APMC Act since 2003-04. There has always been a loud talk of convergence, synergy, dove-tailing of schemes, establishment of end-to-end linkages in production to post-harvest management and marketing process but has the development of appropriate management mechanism been ever given a serious thought by the Administration at the apex level?