Revival of Kashmir’s paddy fields: 10% surge in local cultivation this year, farmers upbeat
Many farmer families switch back to cultivation mode, say weather this was favourable; Cultivation area increases from 1.26 lakh hectares to 1.29 lakh hectares this year: Dir Agri
Umaisar Gull Ganie
Kulgam, Oct 07 (KNO): Much to the delight of local farmers in Kashmir, there has been a 10 per cent surge in the local rice cultivation this year after a long gap.
Talking to news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), an agriculture expert, wishing not to be named, while shedding light on the situation, stated that for many years, the people of Kashmir had relied on the government’s rice allocations through the Public Distribution System to sustain their rice needs. “The reduction in government’s rice allocations has instigated a transformation in the valley,” he said.
The expert further said that the cutback necessitated by government budget constraints, raised concerns among Kashmir’s residents. As rice became costlier and less in quantity, the people of the valley found themselves compelled to reassess their approach of sustenance.
In response to the dwindling rice supplies, many families returned to their agricultural roots, the expert explained. “The lush, fertile lands of Kashmir have long been known for their paddy fields. However, as government-supplied rice became the norm over time, these fields had lost some of their past glory. Now, faced with the need to secure their own food, families across the valley have rekindled their efforts in paddy cultivation.”
Farmers are overjoyed by the substantial increase in this year’s paddy production. They attribute the success to the favourable weather conditions, which were notably better compared to the previous year.
Ghulam Rasool Shah, a local farmer from Kulgam district, expressed his gratitude, saying, “I am grateful to Almighty for the favorable weather and abundant sunshine we had this year. The crop yield for this year has seen a substantial increase compared to the previous year.”
Director Agriculture Kashmir, Chowdhary Muhammad Iqbal told KNO that the productivity this year has increased by 10 percent as compared to previous years. “Like the previous year, this year too, the department gave all necessities to the farmers like subsidies for buying fertilizers.”
The cultivation this year has increased from 1.26 lakh hectares to 1.29 lakh hectares, he said, adding that the exact percentage of increase in production will come after ground assessment—(KNO)