Srinagar: Even though the state of Jammu and Kashmir is witnessing a decrease in agricultural land still the agricultural production had not dwindled to the extent that was otherwise expected.
If a comprehensive outlook about the production of various agricultural products is taken into consideration then the production of saffron, paddy, maize, wheat, fodder, pulses, vegetables, oil-seed and other crops in current and previous years is showing a marginal increase.
One of the exotic cash crop, Saffron too has witnessed an increase in production per hectare despite the fact that various odds went against saffron cultivation. 4.26 kgs of saffron per hectare production was recorded for 2015-16, while the saffron production of 4.28 kgs per hectare was registered in 2016-17. Similarly for Paddy 54 qts per hectare were recorded for 2015-16, while for 2016-17 57.24 qts per hectare were recorded for 2016-17. For 2015-16, the maize production of 21.31 qts per hectare was recorded and for the following year of 2016-17 24.08 qts per hectare, were recorded.
Likewise, 32.28 qts per hectare of maize production was recorded in 2017-18. 316 qts per hectare of vegetable production was recorded in 2015-16, while 318 qts per hectare were recorded in 2016-17 and 325 qts per hectare in 2017-18.
The increased production despite the shrinking of agricultural land can be attributed to the new technological advancements and high yielding seeds. More so, the government too has initiated a number of new schemes in the agriculture sector to increase the productivity of various crops.
About 80% people in the State are cultivators in one form or the other. The total area of the State is 24.15 lakh hecteres. Out of this area 138,6867 Sq. Kms are in rural areas and only 305.4 Sq. Kms fall in the urban areas. This signifies that the entire State of Jammu and Kashmir is rural based with 6503 villages. Out of the total area of 24.15 lakh hect. agricultural statistics are available only for about 8.26 lakh hect. The rest of the area is under forests and mountains.
Given the scenario the agricultural department in all the three provinces of the state can take a lead from now onwards and provide a platform for the younger generations so that they see their future in agricultural based economy.
The officers and field functionaries of the agriculture department need to gear up and work in a dedicated manner for effective implementation of different centrally and State-sponsored schemes.
They should also focus on organizing awareness camps for generating mass awareness among the farmers regarding technical know-how of the field. Special emphasis on the optimal utilization of the available resources should be the catch word and schemes that are drafted to promote agricultural activity should be made entrepreneur friendly.