Though Jammu and Kashmir has not yet been declared drought hit despite the absence of sufficient rainfall since past more than couple of years, government here, however claims to be well prepared to face up to the situation with all might.
While the statistics and other information available on the deficit rainfall in the state present a worrying picture of the agricultural produce likely to touch the lowest ebb this year, the minister for Agriculture Ghulam Hassan Mir while talking to Hindustan Times has assured about a comprehensive plans being envisaged in the near future to compensate the losses of different magnitude at different levels.
“Besides the rain fed areas, where despite the low rainfall, the farmer community had been able to manage good crop, the administration is locating the barren kandi belts on the priority basis where the losses have been quite huge,” said the minister denying any immediate situation likely to turn emergent in the present circumstances.
He further informed that Government has decided to procure the farming community with the seeds on 50% subsidy that would help them to resurrect their business on the sustainability levels.
“Also we are going to hold a meeting at chief secretaries level within a week’s time to identify the ground problems being faced by the community at different regions in the absence of the rainfall that has affected the produce of the crops,” said Ghulam Hassan Mir adding that an emergent Calamity Relief Fund (CRF) is being envisaged for reaching out to the affected people so that farmers’ problems may be mitigated.
However as per the demography of Jammu region, most of the land covered for agriculture depends on the rainfall for cultivation.
Out of total net cultivated area in the state, as per official figures, nearly 50% of it is in Jammu region and out of which 2/3rd remains dependent for irrigation through the rainfall.
And since there are no great efforts done on the front of rainwater harvesting in the region, the farmers generally had to recourse to irrigation through tube wells and seasonal rainfalls only.
“We are also contemplating to launch a ration scheme for the areas where such situation is being expected to arise out of scanty rains,” assured Ghulam Hassan Mir.
The erratic monsoons for past three years have brought in great miseries for the farming community which had compounded the problem this year that has received 35.5 percent deficit rainfall in Jammu region, as per the official sources of the MET department.
Sources in Agricultural Department also admit to have suffered above 50% loses on both the Rabi and Kharif crops this season and are skeptical to make up for losses in coming years if same weather conditions persist in future also.