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As rice fields turn gold, it’s paddy harvest season across Kashmir

Over 10% increase in paddy crop this year: Officials MeT predicts dry weather for a week

Another farmer, Mukhtar Ahmad Sheikh said, “The farmers gather in family circles and chat about the other farming activity happening around that specific area while family members bring the lunch to the fields.”Mubashir Khan for Greater Kashmir

Srinagar: As the dawn and dusk grow chillier with each passing day, the rice straw in the paddy fields across Kashmir has turned gold, and harvesting of the crop is in full swing these days.

Officials said that paddy production has increased over 10 percent compared to last year and there is good news for the farmers as the Meteorological Department has predicted dry weather for a week.

Rice is the staple food in Kashmir and the crop has the distinction of being the most extensively cultivated across Kashmir and Jammu divisions.

The area under the rice is distributed by both regions of which about 60 percent is from Kashmir and 40 percent is from the Jammu division.

In Kashmir, paddy harvesting normally starts in September and lasts till the end of October.

It is a fascinating period that promptly changes attitude due to the impending season of paddy crops.

Before harvesting starts, the farmers visit local blacksmiths to get hand tools repaired which are being used for cutting.

“Harvesting is a time-consuming process which needs collective effort rather than a single man’s capacity,” said Muhammad Shaban Mir, 52, of Budgam. “Working together is very important in paddy fields as this work seems a little cumbersome.”

Mir said that during the season almost all family members get involved in practice.

“Among the family, the children can’t harvest but they fetch food for others working in the fields,” he said. “The paddy harvesting is the primary step which takes two or three days.”

Another farmer, Mukhtar Ahmad Sheikh said, “The farmers gather in family circles and chat about the other farming activity happening around that specific area while family members bring the lunch to the fields.”

This year, the farmers are delighted at the increased production of the paddy and exclaimed that suitable weather aided better production of paddy compared to the previous year.

Shareef-ud-Din Rather of Narabal said that with the help of new seed varieties including SR 3, 4, and 5, the quality and quantity of paddy crop has been increased.

This year the production of paddy crops has increased per hectare compared to last year, which was below this.

Talking to Greater Kashmir, Director Agriculture, Kashmir, Choudhary Muhammad Iqbal said that the production had increased by over 10 percent compared to last year.

“The climatic conditions for paddy this year were almost favourable,” Iqbal said. “The exact percentage of increase in production will come after October 15.”

Like previous year, the government gave subsidies for buying fertilisers. The farmers have been a lot of benefits due to the subsidy received from the Agriculture Department on fertilisers.

Because of the extreme climatic conditions in Jammu Kashmir, rice is only grown once a year. Furthermore, the diversity in the agro-climate, when combined with farmer preferences, results in a wide range of grain preferences, ranging from bold, coarse grains in temperature regions to fine, aromatic, and basmati in subtropical areas.

The region has a long history of rice cultivation, and many of the landraces and traditional types grown in the past have been replaced by new high-yielding varieties.

Meanwhile, there is also good news for farmers as the Meteorological Department has predicted dry weather with cloudy sky for over a week. Mostly during the harvesting, many are desperately following Sonum Lotus’s weather-related predictions so that the harvesting will be done safely.

https://www.greaterkashmir.com/todays-paper/kashmir-todays-paper/as-rice-fields-turn-gold-its-paddy-harvest-season-across-kashmir QR Code

Published Date: October 2, 2023

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