Srinagar, June 7 : Farmers in Kashmir are upbeat with prospect of a bumper paddy crop of 500, 000 metric tonnes this year.
With the onset of summer, the sowing of paddy with transplantation of seedlings has started here. The sowing must end by June 21, when the day receives maximum sunlight.
To beat the deadline all the farmers including men, women and other farmhands are working together on transplanting paddy.
This occasion is special for all. Farmers rent the air with their folksongs in chorus to keep away the drudgery of work.
They believe that singing and dancing during the transplanting will make their ancestors happy and bless them for a bumper crop.
"This is a very happy season for us. We dance and sing to celebrate this," said Dilaver khan, a farmer.
Paddy is the principal crop in the valley and the state government has distributed high-yielding seeds and provided subsidies to farmers to buy fertilizers to surpass last year's output.
The officials say the conditions are favourable for this.
"Last year, on a land of around 160, 000 hectares, we got a yield of 495, 000 metric tonnes of rice, this year we expect a better crop. Rains have also been good. We expect a yield of around 500, 000 metric tones this year," said V. Mooza, Joint Director Agriculture, Kashmir.
Farming and related activity provide a livelihood to over two-thirds of India's 1.1 billion people.