SRINAGAR: Secretary Agriculture Production Department (APD), Manzoor Ahmad Lone on Friday chaired a meeting of State Empowered Committee here to review the status of National e-Governance Plan in Agriculture (NeGP-A) and National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) in the State.

The Secretary Agriculture said the Department is committed to inclusive development through e-Governance and providing maximum services to the farmers. He said there is a need for the use of technology in the implementation of different centrally sponsored schemes and flagship programmes to achieve the desired results.

Lone highlighted the need for bridging the digital divide between the urban and rural areas of the state.

“Artificial intelligence is the answer to most of the problems being faced by the farmers, e-governance is instrumental in transparent service delivery system,” he said adding e-governance is playing an important role in empowering citizens and improving the delivery system.

While taking stock of NMSA, Secretary Agriculture said the Mission has been formulated for enhancing agricultural productivity and to make agriculture more sustainable remunerative and climate resilient viz-a-viz conserving natural resources through appropriate soil and water management procedures.

He impressed upon the officers to develop a comprehensive programme for the capacity building of farmers and stakeholders. He asked them to develop model agriculture villages in all the districts of the state where agriculture and all the allied departments including horticulture, animal husbandry, sheep husbandry, and fisheries could showcase their activities in an integrated manner.

The meeting approved the action plan of Rs 196.58 lakh under N-eGP-A and Rs 1860.89 lakh under NMSA for the year 2018-19.

Earlier, Director Agriculture Kashmir Syed Altaf Aijaz Andrabi, who is also the state nodal officer of NeGP-A and NMSA, highlighted the achievements and activities under the schemes.

Among others, Director General Planning A.K. Gandhotra, Director Agriculture Jammu H.K Razdan, Director Horticulture M.A Quadri, Director Sheep Husbandry Kashmir Dr M. Sharief, Director Meteorology Sonum Lotus, and representatives of Fisheries, Horticulture Jammu, Animal Husbandry and SKUAST K were also present.