1. Agriculture World

Cultivation of Exotic Vegetables & Fruits Can Transform Kashmir's Agriculture Scenario

Kashmir has the unique dubious distinction of a vegetable production season throughout the rest of the country's off-season. It offers farmers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to boost their incomes by diversifying into vegetable production.

Kritika Madhukar
Kashmir has the unique dubious distinction of a vegetable production season throughout the rest of the country's off-season
Kashmir has the unique dubious distinction of a vegetable production season throughout the rest of the country's off-season

In Jammu and Kashmir, nearly 70 percent of the population derives its livelihood directly or indirectly from the agriculture sector. In the early years, agriculture was a poor remunerative entity and farmers were not getting the optimum returns due to the adoption of orthodox and complex methods of cultivation.

However, over the years, the agriculture department has been working to push and reform the agriculture sector. Rising Kashmir’s feature writer, Syeda Rafiyah talks to Director Agriculture Kashmir, Chowdhary Muhammad Iqbal to understand the scenario of agriculture in Kashmir. 

Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, lettuce, and red cabbage are some of the vegetables that vegetable growers in Kashmir can plant to meet the wants of European countries while also earning a lot of money.

The growing of high-value vegetables has the potential to turn agriculture into an export-oriented business that pays profits to vegetable growers. Exotic vegetables were once the possession of the wealthy, and none of them would have been grown on a wide scale here. 

Domestic production of exotic vegetables such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, asparagus, lettuce, and red cabbage, on the other hand, has been making its way into supermarkets. It's not difficult to figure out why. Due to the majority of the population being young, their growing disposable incomes, and a propensity for eating out, the restaurant business is booming.

There is also a wider understanding of world cuisine. While business is picking up, restaurant owners are seeking methods to save money on imports, while chefs are looking for ways to lessen the carbon footprint of the dishes they prepare. Food transport by air requires more energy, resulting in carbon emissions.

According to the economics of exotic vegetable production, the cost of cultivating these vegetables in an area of 0.506 hectares was Rs 26,400.00, with gross and net returns of Rs 336,500.00 and Rs 310,100.00 in 2011 and 2012, respectively. 

The cost ratio calculated using net returns and cultivation costs was 1: 11.75, which is a great result for a small-scale farmer. The key to the success of exotic vegetable cultivation is motivation and interventions for cultivating such types of vegetables for higher economic returns.

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