Srinagar: Land under paddy cultivation in Kashmir is on the decline as around 30,000 hectares of land have been lost since 2013.
Official documents accessed by news agency Kashmir News Observer revealed that in 2012-13 the land under paddy in Kashmir was 162,309 hectares while the production was 621.64 metric tons with a 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 a yield of 43.8 quintals per hectare while in 2014-15 the land under paddy in Kashmir was 155,432 hectares while the production was 240.92 metric ton with yield 15.5 quintals 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 a yield of 60.69 quintals per hectare while in 2016-17, the land under paddy in Kashmir was 141,340 hectares while the production was 898.73 metric ton with yield 63.75 quintals per hectare.
As per the document, the land under paddy cultivation remained the same for the years 2017-18, 2018-19, and 2019-20 too, however, the production increased by 900.99 metric ton and yield 63.75 quintals per hectare in year 2017-18 to the production of 968.83 metric ton and yield 68.55 quintal per hectare in the year 2018-19 and then production of 975.38 metric ton and yield of 69.01 quintal per hectare in the year 2019-20.
As per data the land under paddy cultivation in year 2020-21 and 2021-22 was the same that 134,067 with a production of 956.17 metric ton and a yield 71.32 quintal per hectare in year 2020-21 and a 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, experts believe that the agricultural land is shrinking at an alarming rate in Kashmir with authorities acting as a mute spectator.
They said that thousands of kanals of abi awal land have been converted for commercial purposes across the Valley.
They believe that if the land conversion takes place at the present pace time would not be far when there will be no land for paddy either.
They said that besides that trend of constructing complexes on agricultural land, farmers are also shifting to the horticulture sector.
They also said that the agriculture department has failed to provide farmers with varieties from which they could make a livelihood, farmers are shifting towards the horticulture sector and are planting apple trees on land otherwise meant for agricultural purposes.
The number of brick kilns, coming up of big complexes, residential houses, and shifting to the horticulture sector has been the main reasons that agricultural land is shrinking day by day, they said.
Farmers also said that it is not possible to earn a livelihood from the agriculture sector due to which most people have already shifted to the horticulture sector.
They said that they aren’t even getting the amount from the paddy that they spend on it from paddy sapling plantation to threshing.