The crop yield in the paddy fields of South Kashmir is decreasing with each passing year as the fields here have been endowed by unknown diseases from the last five years.
The continuous slump in crop yield has left farmers worried while the authorities have failed to take any positive steps in this regard.
Notably, Nambal-a vast land under paddy fields spread over thousands of Kanals in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district got mostly affected due to this unknown disease.
Ghulam Mohi-ud-din, a resident of Zahid Bagh village of the district told Kashmir Vision that he has 10 Kanals of paddy land, which were providing him about 30 quintals of yield.
However, he said that from the past few years, he is managing a yield of only 20 quintals of produce.
“Our agricultural produce is our sole source of our income but now expenses are more than the crop yield, which has left all dependents worried,” he said.
“We approached the higher ups, including the Agricultural experts several times about this disease. The authorities provided new seeds of paddy a few years back but unfortunately, the condition remained unchanged,” he added.
“The crop yield continues to remain low even if we prepare soil well, sow recommend seeds, keep plant density in mind, sow seed on time, using recommended fertilisers, pesticides and weedicides,” he said.
“What is worrying us is that the Agriculture department is acting as mute spectator over the issue,” he added.
Ironically, the similar kind of problem is being witnessed in other villages including Litter, Rakh, Naina, Dogripora, Bandun Panzgam, Chakoora and others.
Locals alleged that they informed the department since the initial stage of this disease but they always neglected their pleas.
They said that this disease has resulted in about 30 percent of reduction in crop yield, which has left the farmers of the area worried.
Chief Agriculture Officer (CAO) Pulwama, Ghulam Mohammed said that this all is happening as farmers are unaware about the new seeds.
“The seeds they are using have become disease prone. The need of the hour is to use new seeds which are recommended under the guidance of SKUAST,” he said.
He said that they will constitute a team of senior agriculture officers who will check the problem within a period of one week.
CAO Pulwama also assured that a mega agriculture camp will be launched in the area to make farmers aware about new agricultural seeds and technologies.
“This will help the farmers to experience new seeds and technologies so that the yield is increased in the interest of the farming community,” he added.