Historical Background

The idea of establishment of University for the development of various sectors of agriculture was under persuasion by the government of Jammu and Kashmir right from early 1970’s. But its dream came true with its establishment in the year 1982 and was named after great legendary leader, the Sher-e-Kashmir, Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah as Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology with its main campus at Shalimar, Srinagar with a vision to pursue teaching and conduct research and extension services in agriculture and allied sciences directed to food, nutritional and livelihood security. During 1998-99, the territorial jurisdiction of the University was redefined by amending the SKUAST Act under which a separate Agricultural University was established for Jammu Division and accordingly the parent University was renamed as Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir (SKUAST-K) with its jurisdiction of following two agro-ecological regions:

  • Mid-High Altitude Temperate Zone namely the Kashmir Valley covering ten districtsof Anantnag, Budgam, Baramulla, Pulwama, Kupwara, Srinagar, Ganderbal, Kulgam, Bandipora and Shopian. This region experiences an average annual precipitation of 660mm with mean temperature around 130C and the altitude ranging between 1500-2500 m amsl.
  • Cold-Arid region namely Ladakh, the districts of Leh and Kargil which are cold desert with precipitation only around 90-275mm and altitude above 2000 m amsl.

The agricultural economy in India during the past four decades got transformed inviting attention to mark a shift from subsistence agricultural economy to high-tech agri-business economy by keeping intact the historic and futuristic identity of the ecological regions. Therefore, identifying the nature and pattern of complimentary links within the sub-sectors of agriculture under the complex challenges of climate change, economic shocks, energy security and other uncertainties especially in the Himalayan region demanded specialization and super specialization of Institutions for academic and research excellence in the specific and niche areas. With this in view, the mandate and mission of SKUAST-K, was redefined to become an Institution of Excellence in Mountain and Hill Agriculture.