Bad weather affected agriculture sector in Kashmir
BUDGAM: Continuous rains and dip in temperature have affected and delayed the growth of paddy nurseries in many areas of Kashmir including central Kashmir. Following which farmers have started re-sowing paddy.
Usually farmers sow paddy in the nursery in the third week of April to middle of May. Majority of farmers have planted paddy last month. However due to continue rain and dip in temperature has affected the growth of nurseries which is as unusual trend. May, June and July are considered warm months in Kashmir and at times mercury can reach up to 30 to 35 degrees Celsius. However, for the past few days the day temperature has ranged between 15 and 24 degrees Celsius. As the Kashmir valley recorded rain for the past couple of months that led to a drop in the day and night temperatures, experts say that prolonged rains and cloud cover could adversely affect fruit and other crops, including paddy. In an exclusive interview, District Chief Agriculture Officer Budgam Syed Tafazul Islam said, despite bad weather our hopes are still high and we are hoping in coming days weather will improve so that in lower belt areas farmers can transplant paddy crop till 21 June. Most of the areas in the district are showing good signs but on the higher reaches situation is not as much favourable, he added.
Chief Agriculture Officer further said we have already issued guidelines and advisories to farmers for current season. Throughout May, the weather has been erratic and active western disturbances brought back-to-back spells of rainfall and hailstorms which also caused damage to the fruits and vegetables, especially the stone fruits like cherry, plump, apricot which are the first cash crop fruits of the year. He said, “Department is closely monitoring the situation as MeT office has predicted further rains in the Valley for the next few days may be till June 4″. The MeT office has also advised farmers to suspend all farm operations till few more days .From last two months due to rains, the farmers and growers failed to keep their spray schedule intact. Faizan Arif, a weather spotter who runs his weather group Kashmir weather, said the reduction in the number of sunlight hours may have a negative influence on the agricultural productivity and fruit yield in Kashmir. Nissar Ahmad a local resident of district Budgam who is a grower and farmer said ,Paddy bean and other summer crops could be delayed”. “If rains continue the ted other crops will also get damaged.”