Insha’s journey to becoming the change she wanted to see

Srinagar, August 24 (SocialNews.XYZ) The thought of leaving a prestigious career abroad to pursue a vague dream may seem daunting to most, but for Insha Rasool, the 33-year-old resident of Kashmir’s Budgam region, it’s a life decision that she never looked back.

The doctoral student was pursuing her studies in molecular cell signaling at Pohang University of Science and Technology, when she was amazed by beautiful strawberry farms during a school field trip with her children in South Korea.


“Why can’t our Kashmir have such fascinating farms as here?” Rasool’s rhetorical question to her husband was met with a surprisingly warm response: “Well, why don’t you start one?”

Since that declaration of support, everything is history. Rasool and her husband returned to their homeland with nothing but a passion for farming. With the added desire to make his farming practice healthy and ethical, Rasool nurtured his idea HomeGreens, an organic farm brand, from scratch for 4 years.

As a scientist, it took Rasool 3.5 acres of ancestral land, months of research and experimentation, more failures than successes and endless hard work to finally see his dream of organic farming come true. shape.

Until 2019, before the bifurcation and subsequent transformation of the state of Jammu and Kashmir into a union territory, the region was largely untouched by large-scale industrialization. Under these circumstances, agriculture has played the predominant role in providing livelihoods to about 70% of the territory’s population, either directly or indirectly, and to date, it contributes 65% of the territory’s income. of the Union. Notably, despite the decrease in the area of ​​agricultural land in the region, the contribution of agriculture and agriculture to the state’s gross domestic product (GDP) has remained stable.

Since 2019, Rasool’s local brand has flourished under his dedicated guidance and determination; Rasool’s story is just one of many that exemplify the spirit of resilience and passion that exists in the Indian state of Kashmir. The government’s commitment to fostering the lucrative zeal of its people and aiding their main sources of income has been crucial in taking these individual initiatives to the next level.

Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, Manoj Sinha in his speech at the first Zonal Convention on Natural Agriculture at Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Science and Technology, said UT “gives a major boost to natural and organic farming”, emphasizing these ethical farming practices as a powerful tool to combat the problems of climate change and soil degradation.

Earlier, in February, the summer capital of Srinagar saw the inauguration of a workshop on “Organic Agriculture and its Marketing”, organized by the Kashmir Directorate of Agriculture in collaboration with INVEST INDIA, National Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency. Over the past decade, UT farmers have made great strides in adopting organic practices, with help from the Union Territory Agriculture Department.

With agriculture being the main source of income for the people of UT, there are growing concerns about the depletion of soil health and the deterioration of the region’s environmental sustainability index; these concerns have been addressed through appropriate countermeasures by the Department of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare with the gradual but steady introduction and shift to organic farming.

Young entrepreneurs like Rasool do not limit themselves to their own development, but also invest in the development of the farming community as a whole. The female agripreneur tends to collaborate with other local farmers at prices above the prevailing market rate.

Lately, local farmers in the region are getting immense support and encouragement from the authorities to go natural and capitalize on their crops. The Agriculture Production Department, in October 2020, set up the first “Organic Vegetable Sales Center” in Srinagar. These centers aim to generate better incomes for farmers, as well as jobs for young entrepreneurs; plans are also underway to introduce these markets at the district level for wider reach and a view of moving forward with the masses.

The department not only aims to bring about an effective paradigm shift in agriculture, but also a vision of doubling the farmer’s income by the end of the current year. Their hope of transforming agriculture into entrepreneurship is also realized in the region. With various farmer growth schemes in place, success stories from across Jammu and Kashmir have poured in over the past two years as organic farmers are earning enviable sums of money per crop cycle.

While Rasool is an example of the innovation that young minds bring to UT, the government has pushed for local farmers to similarly capitalize on these sustainable, environmentally friendly and efficient cultivation methods. As the area has immense potential for organic farming, work is underway to develop a systematic approach to planning and developing the area for best use; organic farming could very well be the main mechanism for a second green revolution in the hilly region of Jammu and Kashmir.

Various government programs, such as Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture, Agricultural Technology Management Agency, and Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana have also been rolled out for the welfare of the farming community.

The Prime Minister’s One District, One Product Food Processing Micro-Enterprise Formalization (PMFME) program provides grants to entrepreneurs, while each district will undertake particular crops that suit it best. To introduce better awareness of farmers to enable innovation and development, universities in the region have set up training programs to better help people.

According to the forecast report by IMARC Group, the Indian organic food market is expected to grow exponentially, by 25.25% between 2022 and 2027. With such an increase in demand, the organic farming industry in the valley of the Kashmir is no longer content to meet the needs of local populations, but is also becoming a hub for the export of agricultural products.

Trade and Export Policy (2018-2028) coupled with government initiatives have helped Jammu and Kashmir to create its own name in the international market. Despite the limitations that emerged during the coronavirus pandemic, UT achieved a staggering growth of around 55% in exports, the majority of which were agricultural products.

With the region’s economy largely dependent on agriculture and tourism, both sectors are heavily funded by the government. Considering the record number of tourists that UT has received in the first few months of this year alone, agro-tourism is seen as a game-changer for the economic development of the Jammu and Kashmir region, as the authorities are pushing its population of young, educated farmers to explore more opportunities in this sector.

Source: IANS

Insha's journey to becoming the change she wanted to see

About Gopi

Gopi Adusumilli is a programmer. He is the editor of SocialNews.XYZ and president of AGK Fire Inc.

He enjoys designing websites, developing mobile apps and publishing news articles from various authenticated news sources.

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