Srinagar: Paddy production has increased by more than 35 percent despite the reduction in the agricultural land in Kashmir.
Thanks to high-yield seeds, Jammu and Kashmir government is trying hard to make up for the agricultural losses caused by the land conversion.
Data accessed by The Kashmir Monitor reveal that the area under paddy production in Kashmir was 162309 hectares in 2012-13 with an annual production of 621640 Metric Tonnes. The average yield during the year was 38.03 quintals per hectare.
In the last 10 years, the annual production increased to 966630 Metric Tonnes with an average yield of 72.01 quintals per hectare.
It is despite the fact that the area under cultivation in the last 10 years has reduced to 134067 hectares from 162309 hectares.
Figures suggest that the decline in the area under cultivation and increase in annual production was simultaneous process.
Sample this: In 2012-13, the area under paddy cultivation declined by 3953 hectares. However, the annual yield in the same year increased by 71960 Metric Tonnes.
In 2013-14, the area under production was 158356 hectares with an annual output of 693600 Metric Tonnes. The yield per hectare increased to 43.08 quintals.
In 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18, the annual rice production in Kashmir was recorded at 240920, 857840, 898730, and 900990 Metric Tonnes respectively with an average yield of 15.05, 60.96, 63.59, and 63.75 quintals per hectare respectively.
Subsequently, the production increased to 968830, 975380, and 956170 Metric Tonnes in 2018-19, 2019-20, and 2020-21, respectively with an average yield of 69.55,69.01 and 71.32 quintals per hectare respectively.
Director of Agriculture Choudhary Mohammad Iqbal said new seed varieties have been introduced to increase the yield.
“Traditional varieties used to yield only 40 quintals per hectare. With new research and studies, the internal character of seeds has been improved. We now have a seed quality which gives a yield of 80 quintals per hectare,” he said.
Iqbal said the department has educated farmers about scientific techniques and innovations to increase production.
“Farmers have been educated about the use of fertilizers, sowing, and transplantation at a particular time so that their yield doesn’t get affected,” he said.
Another official said the government is also acting tough against the conversion of agricultural land for non-agriculture purposes.