Haak to lettuce: Organic farming redefines agriculture in Kashmir

Srinagar: Organic farming is redefining agriculture in the Kashmir valley.

More than 2000 hectares of land is being brought under the cultivation of all-natural vegetables in the valley.

 “Presently, we have 36 clusters of 20 hectares each under organic farming. We are promoting organic farming on a large scale. We have plans of having 100 more clusters. Nearly 2000 hectares of land will be brought under organic farming,” Director Agriculture Kashmir, Altaf Aijaz Andrabi told The Kashmir Monitor.

Andrabi said Organic Vegetable Sale Centre, which was recently made operational at the Agriculture Complex Lal Mandi, had received an overwhelming response from both growers and consumers.

“It (sale center) is a permanent feature. Farmers were finding it difficult to have a dedicated market (for organic vegetable sale). The response from the consumers has been great. We sell all seasonal vegetables after a proper certification,” he said.

Director Agriculture noted that five registered vegetable clusters of Srinagar, Baramulla, Pulwama, Bandipora, and Ganderbal districts had been linked up with the sale center at Lal Mandi to provide good quality vegetables to the consumers.

“Organic cultivation should be promoted in a much bigger manner as we are used to eating vegetables sprayed with harmful chemicals and fertilizers. One can feel the difference after eating the vegetables grown organically. Organically grown vegetables are good for health and the setting up of a dedicated counter at Lal Mandi is a welcome step. However, the government should open more sale counters for people,” said Abdul Sattar, a local consumer.

Meanwhile, the Agriculture Department’s incentives for kitchen gardening have received a good response during the Covid-19 lockdown as it became a favorite past-time for people. 

“Lot of people took to kitchen gardening this year. From tomorrow, we will start the sale of seedlings that can be grown during the winter. There will be the sale of seedlings of onion, saag, spinach, coriander peas, etc that can be relished immediately after winters,” said Andrabi.

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