Help The Kashmir Monitor sustain so that we continue to be editorially independent. Remember, your contributions, however small they may be, matter to us.

Good news: Paddy cultivation kicks off in Kashmir amid lockdown

Srinagar: Process of planting paddy saplings has started in the Kashmir valley amid lockdown.

Last month, the government had allowed farmers to resume agriculture activities for the Kharif season. The department had issued advisory listing dos and don’ts including wearing of face masks, gloves and maintain social distance while working in the fields.

From making fertilizers available to home delivery of seeds, the department took various measures to promote agriculture activities in the lockdown.

Director of the agriculture department, Altaf Aijaz Andrabi told The Kashmir Monitor that easing restriction has helped farmers to sow paddy, maize, and vegetables on time.

“The farming season in Kashmir had coincided with the lockdown and government immediately eased restrictions on agriculture. Currently, we have got reports of 100 percent sowing of maize and paddy seeds across the valley. Transplantation of paddy has begun in Ganderbal and Kupwara districts,” Andrabi said.

 To avoid any disturbance in the framing season, the government has home delivered seeds to the farmers.

“Our men would get an order from farmers and seeds would be made available to them. We introduced a system of home delivery of seeds and other agricultural products during the lockdown. We created a network for the distribution of seeds to farmers,” Andrabi said.

 The director agriculture said that a similar approach was adopted for sowing and marketing of vegetables in Kashmir.

“Vegetable farming was not hit by the lockdown. Now we have arranged transportation of vegetables from farms to the markets,” he said.

Official figures reveal that around 3.15 lakh hectares of land are under cultivation of different crops. Paddy, which is the most common crop in Jammu and Kashmir is grown on 1.41 lakh hectares of land. 80,000 hectares of land are under maize cultivation and other 30,000hecatres are under vegetable cultivation. 

Andrabi said abundant rainfall has helped the boom in agriculture production. “We will have a good season this year because the valley has received abundant rainfall,” he said.