The agriculture sector is experiencing changing domestic and global market demands. Also consumer needs are changing
due to change in food habits. In response to this, the farm youth in Haryana is trying hard to harness new market opportunities. Obviously, the
youth has to be empowered with right information on emerging market opportunities. They also need required skills and technologies to connect
effectively with markets and get attracted to agriculture as a profitable preposition. To achieve this, a three pronged strategy will help:
i) Strengthen existing information generation and knowledge dissemination system; ii) Cost-effective rural based value addition technologies
for producing specialized products in demand, including their storage/packaging and quality standards; and iii) Capacity building of youth
in technology adoption, value chain development, interpersonal skills, business management and marketing.
Haryana Kisan Ayog has stressed upon above aspects in “Haryana State Agriculture Policy” adopted recently by the Government of Haryana. The Ayog
has also compiled and published information with regard to various government schemes that support the farmers.
Also, the role of KVKs has to be redefined to address emerging issues/challenges. In the past, the main emphasis had been on the transfer of
technologies linked with productivity enhancement. Without sacrifying this role, KVKs have to work now more aggressively as knowledge providers
and centres for vocational training in new emerging areas. Haryana Kisan Ayog has generated valuable information on thematic issues linked
with different sub-sectors of agriculture and published the same in the form of “Working Group Reports” and the “Proceedings” of
various workshops. The same are also available on our website: www.haryanakisanayog.org. These valuable documents would serve as useful resource
material for evolving future strategy/road map in each sub-sector (crops, horticulture, livestock, fisheries etc.) and help in evolving effective
implementation plan for the State Agriculture Policy.
I am happy to mention that Government of Haryana is very proactive and gives high priority to the farmers' welfare. The State Government has also
accepted most of the recommendations of the Ayog, including adoption of State Agriculture Policy, creation of Haryana Agriculture Innovation Fund,
Haryana State Agriculture Research and Development Fund, reduction of interest rate on agricultural loans to 4%, waving of stamp duty, soil heath
cards and Kisan Credit Cards (KCC) issued to almost all farmers, creation of “State Livestock Mission”, reduction in water rates for the fish
ponds, proper steps to reduce area under rice, efforts to promote diversification in R-W system, developing the rolling plan for fodder seed
production, amendment in APMC Act to delink fruits and vegetables, revision of pay scales of ADO etc. Ayog has recently submitted its second
report recommending various steps for research and development for accelerating agricultural growth in Haryana. I am sure these will receive due
consideration of the Government for their implementation in the larger interest of farmers of Haryana. It is satisfying that Haryana Kisan Ayog
has played an effective role in addressing genuine concerns of farming community.