No takers for basmati cultivation in Valley
Courtesy lack of mini rice mill
D A RASHID
Srinagar, June 12: Despite having the potential to grow good quality basmati, lack of a mini rice mill comes in way of Kashmir to reap rewards from this crop.
According to experts and agriculturalists basmati cultivation in Kashmir has shown tangible results on frontline demonstration. But what according to them has made growers pessimistic about its cultivation is the “lack of a mini rice mill.”
“The Pusa Sugand 3, a variety of basmati introduced in Kashmir from north India, after frontline demonstration showed satisfactory results as regards its growth and aroma,” experts said.
They said on the basis of the frontline demonstrations, the cultivators embraced the variety and its cultivation brought cheer to them. “But in the post-harvest phase they confronted the problems. They did not find the hullers nor the mini rice mills that are essential for shelling and polishing operations,” they said.
According to experts the cultivation of basmati in the Valley could fetch good money to the cultivators. “A kg of basmati sells at least at Rs 40. A kanal of land can yield four quintals. Thus the cultivation of rice can be lucrative for the growers. But what we need is the basic infrastructure.”
According to experts there is a dire need for mini rice mills in the Valley. A mini rice mill consists of a paddy cleaner, sheller, separator and a polisher. The most important feature of the mill is that the shelling and polishing are kept separate.
“If we have these mills available in the Valley, we can go for cultivation of huge quantity of quality basmati,” experts said.
Pertinently, after the good results shown by the frontline demonstration of Pusa Sugand 3 on nine kanal in Narkarn area of district Budgam, 300 kanals of land came under its cultivation last year.
But during the current year, the seed has been sown hardly on 100 kanals because of the post-harvest problems faced by the growers last year.
Director Project Research Agronomy of SKUAST Muhammad Shafiq Wani told Greater Kashmir that this year the department was expecting the cultivation of Pusa Sugand 3 on 28000 kanals, “but farmers showed disinclination as the rice is not milled here. We unsuccessfully tried to motivate some people from private sector to invest in these mills.”
Wani blamed the state government for not giving cooperation and assistance for the cultivation of basmati in Kashmir.
“Though, we offered 50 quintals of seed in March, the agriculture department was not ready to take it. The department is not coordinating with SKUAST,” he said.
Director, Agriculture Department, Kashmir, Dr Farooq Ahmad said: “Milling of the rice is certainly a serious problem which keeps the cultivators from growing basmati in Valley.”
However he added: “We have started preparations for setting up of a mill and are motivating private parties for it.”
Lastupdate on : Sun, 12 Jun 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 12 Jun 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 13 Jun 2011 00:00:00 IST
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Courtesy lack of mini rice mill
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