SHOPIAN: With locals fed up of fertilisers and insecticides used to grow the vegetables they consume, organic farming is taking roots in Shopian’s Safnagri village where over 400 kanals of land have been so far brought under cultivation of vegetables through organic methods.
A farmer from Safnagri village told Kashmir Reader that almost all the households in the village grow vegetables and they are directly dependent on it for livelihood, but very few of them now use fertilisers to grow vegetables.
“Though most people in district Shopian earn their livelihood from apple growing, but our village is the lone such village which gets more income through organic vegetables than from apple,” said Javeed Ahmad Dar, a grower.
Recently, the department of agriculture gave some space in the municipal area where the growers from the village will be able to sell their produce to local costumers.
“We have started this initiate where the growers will be able to sell their produce directly to local customers. We are providing a permanent space in the town area for them,” said Satish Sharma, Chief Agriculture Officer Shopian.
Sharma said that the department has deputed a team of officials and experts who besides providing technical information and training to farmers, will also keep watch to ensure that no chemical fertilisers and insecticides are used in the land which is registered under organic farming.
“Currently there are 400 kanals of land in the village and we are working on more such projects,” he said.
Officials said that the scheme was started from year 2018 and earlier the growers used to sell the produce to outside states and in Srinagar.
Bashir Ahmad Ganie, a farmer, said that everyday they sell vegetables from the village for more than one lakh rupees.
“Growing with organic methods costs us less and it also gives good returns. But the farming has to be done after proper training lest our produce gets affected by diseases,” he said.