KV Network

Agriculture can grow in leaps and bounds in Kashmir

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

Peer Muhammad Amir Qureshi
Jammu and Kashmir is an agrarian UT and agriculture is the chief economic activity of people of Jammu and Kashmir. Agriculture is the backbone of UT’s economy as it provides employment to around 64% of the population directly or indirectly.
The net sown area in the state constitutes only 30% of reported area, 50% area is sown more than once in a year and 74% of the land holdings in the state are below one hectare size. There are only 225 farmers who possess more than 20 hectares of land. Agriculture holds paramount importance in the economy of Jammu and Kashmir as the geographical conditions for agriculture are not suitable everywhere in the state.
The size of the net sown area in Jammu and Kashmir is diminishing and agricultural lands are devoted to non agricultural uses at a mega scale. In the union territory especially in the Kashmir valley there is huge pressure of growing population on the agricultural land.Net sown area has scaled down from 62% in 1994-1995 to 37.62% in 2015-2016 as per official figures.
But, the reality seems to be even grave. The valley of Kashmir which once was enjoying self sufficiency in foods has now turned out to be dependent on food imports and other agricultural produce. The state as a whole has attained the title of consumer territory because it depends heavily on imports from Jammu and other parts of the country
Jammu and Kashmir is viable for agricultural purposes but in Ladakh, the land is repulsive. In terms of agriculture only few vegetables are grown there due to its topography. The main cause of diminishing land in the valley of Kashmir is population which leads to illegal construction on the irrigated land besides the commercialization of the irrigated land owing to the greed of the people.
Interestingly, Jammu and Kashmir has a huge potential for agricultural purposes. Horticulture in Kashmir has the maximum yield per hectare. The apples and walnuts of Kashmir are famous all over the world.
In Kashmir there are many types of soils and these soils are actually devoted for various crops plantation, the crops should be changed year after year and also there’s need for hybrid crops to get high yields and for improvising the quality of the crops or fruits.
Soil testing should be done on the rapid basis to know about the quality of soil and the constituents present or absent in it so that viable crops or plants should be introduced to that type of soil.
High quality equipments should be introduced to farmers on the subsidy basis and training camps shall be organised by the agricultural universities and departments to give valuable information to the farmers like contour farming and crop rotation.
Land laws should be introduced by the government which would be beneficial to farmers but shouldn’t be against them.
In Kashmir farmers have been facing hindrances for export of apples and walnuts despite the produce being in demand in India and elsewhere. The government should provide facilitation centres in every district from where these fruits can be exported to other states so that farmers would not suffer.
(The author hails from district Ganderbal and is pursuing a course in DMLT)

 


KV Network

Kashmir Vision cover all daily updates for the newspaper

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *