Srinagar, Sep 10: Land under paddy cultivation in Kashmir is on decline as around 30,000 hectares of land has been lost since 2013.
Official documents quoted by news agency Kashmir News Observer (KNO) reveal that in 2012-13 the land under paddy in Kashmir was 162,309 hectares while the production was 621.64 metric tons with the yield of 38.3 quintals per hectare.
In 2013-14, the land under paddy in Kashmir was 158,356 hectares while the production was 693.64 metric tons with yield of 43.8 quintals per hectare while in 2014-15 the land under paddy in Kashmir was 155,432 hectares while as the production was 240.92 metric ton with yield 15.5 quintal per hectare, it adds.
In year 2015-16 the land under paddy in Kashmir was 141,340 hectares while the production was 857.84 metric tons with the yield of 60.69 quintals per hectare while in 2016-17, the land under paddy in Kashmir was 141,340 hectares while as the production was 898.73 metric ton with yield 63.75 quintal per hectare.
As per document the land under paddy cultivation remained same for year 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20 too, however, the production increased 900.99 metric ton and yield 63.75 quintal per hectare in year 2017-18 to production of 968.83 metric ton and yield 68.55 quintal per hectare in year 2018-19 and then production of 975.38 metric ton and yield of 69.01 quintal per hectare in year 2019-20.
As per data the land under paddy cultivation in year 2020-21 and 2021-22 was same that 134,067 with production 956.17 metric ton and yield 71.32 quintal per hectare in year 2020-21 and production of 966.63 metric ton and yield of 72.1 quintal per hectare in year 2021-22.
So as per data since 2012-13 the area under paddy has decreased 28,242 hectares while the production has increased by 345 metric ton and yield in quintals per hectare has increased by 33.8 quintal per hectare.
Meanwhile concerned civil society voices believe that while the agricultural land is shrinking at an alarming rate in Kashmir, the government is not taking decisive steps to address the crisis.
They said that thousands of kanals of abi awal land have been converted for commercial purposes across the Valley and that if the land conversion takes place with present pace time would not be far when there will be no land for agriculture left in Kashmir.
There is also a viewpoint that besides the trend of constructing complexes on agricultural land, farmers are also shifting to horticulture given that the returns from agriculture are relatively low and the incomes from it are not able to provide sustainable livelihoods to farming communities.
The number of brick kilns, coming up of big complexes, residential houses and shifting to horticulture have been the main reasons that agricultural land is shrinking day by day, they observe.
They said that they aren’t even getting the amount from the paddy that they spend on it from paddy sapling, plantation to thrashing. —(KNO)