J&K suffered Rs 506 cr worth losses in agriculture, horticulture: Mir

22 August 2009
The Daily Excelsior

New Delhi: Minister for Agriculture, Ghulam Hassan Mir has said that Jammu and Kashmir has suffered losses to the tune of Rs. 406 crore in agriculture and Rs. 100 crore in horticulture due to continued dry spell and unfair weather. Addressing the meeting of Agriculture Ministers at New Delhi, Mr. Mir said a considerable loss has been suffered by Kharief crops like maize, pulses, vegetables, fodder, paddy, oil seeds etc. He said maize crop has suffered about 50% damage, pulses 100% and paddy 20%. He said horticulture industry in the State too has suffered badly due to minimal rainfall and fruits like apple, cherry, pear and walnut have suffered maximum damage. He said the quantum of loss in Jammu province has been from 55% to 80% whileas in Kashmir about 20 to 30 % horticulture crop has been damaged. The Minister informed the meeting that though Kashmir Valley is not dependent on monsoon but western disturbances determine the normal cropping efficiency here. But this time, he said, there was a departure from this normal meteorological phenomenon which has resulted into a drought like situation. He said water discharge in perennial sources of irrigation like rivers and canals has also declined due to decrease in precipitation. As a result, he said, sowing of different crops and transplantation of paddy got delayed which would affect the crop yield. Mr. Mir informed the meeting that consequent upon this loss the reduction in food grain production is estimated to be 4.5 lakh tonnes which can further go up. He said already the state receives 63067 MTs of food grains per month against the actual requirement of 1.31 lakh MTs. He also sought additional support of fertilisers and seeds for starting an early Rabi season in the State. On the efforts of the State Government to meet the challenge, the Minister informed the meeting that a contingent cropping pattern has been adapted to minimise the losses suffered and crops like toria, barseem, cabbage etc. are being cultivated due to shortage of water. He said soil testing laboratories of the department are being strengthened for complete soil analysis like moisture content, nutrient analysis etc. He said the Government has mobilised all State and Central funds to confront the crisis. He said a detailed assessment by concerned departments of Revenue, Relief and Agriculture, has been mobilised for help under CRF.