The Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST) on Monday launched a skill training programme for creating the next generation of agri-entrepreneurs in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) has granted 550 skill training programmes to SKUAST for implementation in the current year, officials said.
“We have to take our farming community from subsistence agriculture to sustainable commercial agriculture. We have to strive to achieve the goal set by the JK government to double the agricultural GDP in the next five years,” Vice chancellor of the SKAUST Nazir Ahmad Ganaie told reporters.
Last year the university implemented 66 skilling programmes.
He said it is important that the country shifts toward startup culture as India is emerging as a big startup ecosystem in the world.
“The universities have a very important role to play in bringing Jammu and Kashmir on the startup ecosystem map of the country,” he added.
Sajad ul Akbar Wani, a beneficiary of last year’s training programme, said skill development is a good programme.
“The educated youth are sitting home, some are suffering from migraine and some have gone into depression. My wife also is educated and wanted to contribute to family income. She has done MSc and MEd but a teacher’s job in the private sector would just fetch her a few thousand rupees salary, he said.
Wani said he brought his wife to the training programme last year to attend this skill training programme.
“We decided to start an entrepreneurial unit. We decided to promote saffron as a cash crop and we did some innovation. We launched a new perfume… We made a small beginning and… got a good return. We want the educated youth of Kashmir to benefit from this training,” he said.
Wani said there is talent in Kashmir but the youth do not have exposure. “By attending these training programmes, they will get direction and guidance on how to become entrepreneurs,” he added.
Saheel Alaqaband, nodal officer of the programme, said 20 startups were registered after last year’s programme which indicated the success of the training.
“The passouts from these programmes have a totally changed mindset. They want something of their own and that’s what is needed. That will build the economy of the region, of the state and of the country,” he said.
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