Srinagar: Rice production has increased by more than 35 percent in Kashmir despite reduction in agricultural land.
Thanks to high-yielding seeds, the Jammu and Kashmir government is trying hard to compensate for agricultural losses caused by land conversion.
Data accessed by The Kashmir Monitor revealed that in 2012-13, the area under paddy production in Kashmir was 162309 hectares and the annual production was 621640 metric tonnes. The average yield for the year is 38.03 quintals per hectare.
During the last 10 years, the annual production has increased to 966630 MT with an average yield of 72.01 quintals per hectare.
Cultivated area has decreased from 162309 hectares to 134067 hectares in last 10 years.
Statistics indicate that decline in cultivated area and increase in annual production is a simultaneous process.
Example: In 2012-13, the area under paddy decreased by 3953 hectares. However, the annual yield increased to 71960 MT in the same year.
In 2013-14, production was on 158356 hectares with an annual production of 693600 metric tonnes. The yield per hectare increased to 43.08 quintals.
In 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18, the annual paddy production in Kashmir was recorded as 240920, 857840, 898730 and 900990 MT respectively with an average yield of 160.65 and 5.69, 5.69. quintals per hectare respectively.
Subsequently, the production increased to 968830, 975380 and 956170 metric tonnes in 2018-19, 2019-20, and 2020-21 respectively, with an average yield of 69.55, 69.01 and 71.32 quintals respectively.
Director of Agriculture Chaudhary Mohammad Iqbal said that new varieties of seeds have been introduced to increase the yield.
“Conventional varieties used to yield only 40 quintals per hectare. With new research and studies, the intrinsic nature of seeds has improved. Now we have quality seed that yields 80 quintals per hectare,” he said.
Iqbal said that the department has made farmers aware of scientific techniques and innovations to increase production.
“Farmers are educated about fertilisers, seeds and transplants at a specific time without affecting their yield,” he said.
Another official said that the government is also taking strict action against conversion of agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes.