Srinagar, July 15 : Vegetable farmers in the Kashmir Valley are upbeat about the possibility of vegetable yield touching 900,000 metric tonnes mark this year. It will be a substantial increase over last year's yield of 600,000 tonnes.
The possibility has increased hopes for a better income for all vegetable farmers, as the valley which generally does a business of around rupees 1.25 billion a year through vegetables, can now aspire for more income.
Timely rainfall and introduction of hybrid varieties by the Jammu and Kashmir Government's Department of Agriculture hold the credit for a high possibility of a good harvest.
The hybrid seeds guarantee a double and even a triple the normal harvest in a season. These seeds were distributed through Field Extension Centres of the Agriculture Department located at certain prominent villages.
"Hybrid seeds enable production of 300-400 per cent more than normal crops. This is our open pollinated variety, which is for European type of vegetable cultivation. When we took this technology to the farmers through this centre, the technology delivery system proved very successful. The result was that the previous year we sold crops worth 1.25 billion rupees to the other States," said Manzoor Shah, the Director of Agriculture for Jammu and Kashmir Government in Srinagar.
Thus vegetables like potato, onion, carrot, cauliflower, cabbage and green chilly are flourishing and the farmers are happy.
"We have a good hope this year. Because of timely rainfall we had a good crop. Potatoes, cauliflowers, cabbages are sold to buyers from outside Kashmir," said Irfan, a farmer.
The State Government's role in the bumper yield of vegetables deserves a special mention because it has constructed four sub-stations to make sure that enough water supply is available to the farmers.
Apart from this, the Department of Agriculture has facilitated tractors to the farmers through easy installment schemes. Farmers, as a result, have been able to achieve better prospects in farming.
"After a decade, the vegetables are growing because of the help of Agricultural Department. They helped us in installing motor pumps. Tractors have been used to sow seeds. Because of the use of hybrid seeds the production has increased," said Abdul Rashid Bhatt, one farmer.
These vegetables cater to the markets of Jammu region within the State as well as many other northern and northwestern States like Delhi, Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. By Parvez Butt