Bandipora: A high altitude hamlet of Butho in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district is likely to become the first village in Kashmir division to get organic certification for producing over 1500 quintals of organic spring onions.
For years spring onions from this village are liked by all for their taste. This vegetable is used in Kashmiri traditional wazwans and hotels to make tasty food. Farmers here use traditional methods of cultivation.
“Our area is known for cultivating famous spring onions on which our livelihood depends. These onions are costliest and long-lasting and they are more often utilized in Wazwan’s in marriage ceremonies and by restaurant owners for making food rich in taste and flavor,” said Bashir Ahmad Reshi an elderly villager associated with the onion farming.
He said that for producing organic-rich vegetables and fruits, they sought the intervention of the agriculture department and its higher authorities to help them with some modern techniques to increase production as well as marketing presence by organizing workshops to educate our farmers about the latest techniques and technology.
Locals further stated that they have been urging authorities to help them with irrigation facilities as without water they were facing hardships in keeping the produce fresh.
“We want an irrigation canal, there is sufficient water running around the streams but it all goes waste, besides that we request the agriculture department to help train our youth with modern techniques to cultivate spring onions so that our produce increases annually,” Reshi said.
Director Agriculture Kashmir, Chowdhary Muhammad Iqbal said that he was happy to know that farmers at this high altitude have kept the agricultural activities alive and thriving is an example in itself”.
“ After witnessing stocking, storage and traditional way of cultivation here in the village surprised me and when I got to know that they produce over 1500 quintal spring onions, I requested managing directors in the marketing to get their products out in the market.”
“I declare it will be the first village which will become part of organic certification. Our Principal Secretary has directed us to start from those areas which are by default organic and there couldn’t have been any better model than this village where we even saw different types of turnips, corn, spring onions, paddy, mulberry, walnuts and other crops,” he said.