Srinagar: Two districts, one each from Jammu and Kashmir divisions, are being adopted under the government of India’s multi-crore project, “Climate Resilient Sustainable Agriculture (CRSA)”, to bring down agricultural susceptibility because of water shortage during cropping seasons.
Budgam and Jammu are the two districts selected from the Jammu and Kashmir for the project.
A detailed report prepared by the JK Climate Change Cell of Department of Forest, Ecology and Environment has pointed out that the annual rainfall and rainy days are decreasing in the region, leading to crop vulnerability.
The report says that the construction of roads under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana and laying of railway tracks have altered stream courses, discharge areas and closed aquifers because of lack of geo-hydrological assessments.
“The unauthorized and unplanned construction on the riverbanks has altered the river ecosystem resulting in agricultural vulnerability,” it added.
The 23-crore project, however, plans reducing agricultural vulnerability of farmers in both these districts through promotion of appropriate cropping system, rain water harvesting and recycling, appropriate irrigation and water saving facilities.
A senior official associated with the project told Kashmir Reader the project would take off by April this year and the funds have been cleared by the Ministry of Environment this week. The Agriculture department would be the nodal authority for implementing the project.
In both districts, the groundwater table is deep while streams carry huge amount of debris during rainy season due to fragile geological conditions.
“In deficient monsoon both areas face drought affecting staples (20-25% loss in rice in Valley and 30% maize yield loss in Jammu). There is significant nutrient loss in both the districts in varying degree (Jammu plain has higher adverse impact),” it added.
The project would promote integrated farming system and bring improvement in production and productivity of crops through integrated Nutrition and Pest Management.
Also, Irrigation Management through Micro Irrigation System in water stressed areas based on crop suitability and building capacity of farmers and other stakeholders on climate resilient sustainable agricultural practices.