Bringing Agriculture on Sustainable Commercial Lines: CAO Kupwara

The Union Territory government of Jammu and Kashmir has developed a comprehensive agricultural transformation plan in the ambitious border and hilly Kupwara district. The plan is currently operational and is being implemented as a priority, the first time, creating the story.
The district covers an area of ​​2379 square kilometers including 1651 square kilometers of forest, located at an average elevation of 5300 feet above sea level. About 70% of the district’s population depends on agriculture and related activities.
In order to harness its agricultural potential, the government has embarked on a multi-pronged strategy by introducing various centrally sponsored programs which have proven to be a game changer in the agrarian economy which is the backbone of the livelihood of the rural masses.
The Department of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare intends to bring agriculture on sustainable business lines with the aim of exploring entrepreneurship opportunities in agriculture for educated unemployed youth in the district. .
According to the Director General of Agriculture (CAO) Kupwara, Nazir Ahmad Wani, the mechanization of the agricultural sector, the provision of quality seeds, an efficient water management system and assistance to livestock were transforming the sector. agriculture into a high yield economic entity.
He also informed that agricultural mechanization has been a game-changer in the field of agriculture whereby the introduction of agricultural machinery such as tractors, tillers, agricultural machinery banks, personalized rental centers, Weed killers, irrigation pump sets, brush cutters, innovative farming tools for farmers has reduced farm chores to a greater extent.
Farming operations have accelerated, which has helped farmers to reduce the cost of cultivation, i.e. performing agricultural operations in a timely manner, thus influencing crop production and productivity.
He said that this resulted in increased yield and reduced farming costs, which further increased farmers’ income; thus the slogan launched by the Indian Prime Minister to double the incomes of farmers is in the process of materializing.
CAO said, “The introduction of high yielding rice varieties like SR-3, SR-4 has increased crop yield from 50 quintals to 75 quintals per hectare.”
“In market gardening, the introduction of HYV / HYBRID / EXOTIC varieties has revolutionized the market gardening sector. Farmers are now growing vegetables on a commercial scale, ”CAO informed, adding that growing tomatoes in the tribal village of Hachmarg is an example of commercial vegetable farming. He said the introduction of greenhouse technology has benefited farmers by lengthening the short growing season and producing early and healthy nurseries by producing two crops per year.
Regarding beekeeping, CAO said the industry is flourishing in the district due to the ever increasing demand for honey in the domestic, national and international market. The Ministry of Agriculture provides subsidized beehives to farmers as well as training and extension services. At present, the district has 6000 colonies with 400 large and small beekeepers affiliated with this industry with an annual turnover of Rs. 400 crore in the district. More and more young people are moving into this sector.
“The Department has taken a program to extend crop coverage during the Rabi season for which oilseed cultivation has been resumed in mission mode,” CAO informed, adding that this year, for the first time, an area of 5000 hectares were covered under oilseeds, 3000 hectares in fodder crops and 350 hectares in wheat. In addition, 1,200 hectares have been cultivated with peas. The production of the Rabi crop will significantly improve the production of the agricultural system in the district, CAO said.
While giving the data on agricultural products, the director general of agriculture said that at present the district has an area of ​​42,600 hectares under agricultural crops. Paddy is cultivated over an area of ​​17,000 hectares, providing an average of 70 to 75 quintals of cereals per hectare and 10.20 bundles of dry fodder to livestock. Maize is cultivated over an area of ​​18,000 hectares with an average production of 12 quintals per hectare. Vegetables are grown throughout the district in each household over an area of ​​5,000 hectares with an average production of 300 quintals per hectare. In addition, legumes are cultivated on an area of ​​1200 hectares, potatoes on 500 hectares with an average of 200 quintals per hectare.

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