Srinagar: Farm distress notwithstanding, Jammu and Kashmir has recorded a nine percent increase in the production of fruits and vegetables during the last three years.
Officials say increased investments in the farming sector and adoption of scientific methods has boosted production.
Official figures reveal that Jammu and Kashmir has produced 2355.19 metric tonnes of fruits in 2017-18. The following year, the fruit production increased to 2414.21 metric tonnes. In the last fiscal, the production touched 2541.16 metric tonnes.
Similarly, vegetable production has witnessed a surge in the last three years.
Data reveals that 1226.64 metric tonnes of vegetables were produced in Jammu and Kashmir in 2017-18. The vegetable production increased to 1337.12 in 2019-20.
An official told The Kashmir Monitor that a large number of people have invested in the horticulture and agriculture sectors in the last few years. He said exotic vegetable cultivation has yielded good returns for farmers and investors.
“Certain vegetables like broccoli, lettuce, celery, and parsley have made farming more profitable in Jammu and Kashmir. It is despite the fact that only 100 hectares of the 40,000 hectares are under vegetable cultivation. However, more land will be brought under the cultivation of high-end vegetables in coming years,” he said.
He said the authorities are planning to increase land use for unconventional crops to 600 hectares
Similarly, in the horticulture sector, officials said that the high-density plantation of apple is becoming popular with private players willing to invest more money.
So far the Jammu and Kashmir administration has brought around 240 hectares of land under high-density apple cultivation.
“Horticulture is the mainstay of union territory’s economy. The government is encouraging businessmen to invest in the sector,” said an official.
Moreover, the flow of funds from the Centre has also increased manifold over the years.
The Centre increased the funding for Jammu and Kashmir’s horticulture sector by more than 300 percent.
Documents accessed by The Kashmir Monitor reveal that the Centre has released Rs27.55 crore to Jammu and Kashmir under Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH). In 2016, the Centre had released only Rs 96.09 crore.