Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir government is mulling to double oilseed production in Kashmir by introducing slew of measures to boost mustard cultivation here.
Officials informed that Directorate of Agriculture Kashmir has initiated slew of measures to give push to doubling oilseed production. “ Under the oilseed mission we are going to get more irrigated land into oilseed cultivation so that farmers will benefit and also help Kashmir to become edible oil exporter from being importer.”
While talking about the detailed plan, a senior official from the Department of Agriculture said that they are working towards doubling the oilseed cultivation land in Kashmir in the next two years.
He said that a host of steps are being taken by the department of agriculture in Kashmir to realize the mission.
“We are currently one of the major importers of edible oil. Kashmir is a place that has a good quality of land which is perfect for oilseed cultivation but still, we have to import. In our various meetings with the government we took up this issue and the department has now decided that this has to be changed. We will bring more land under oilseed cultivation in the next two years. The work has already begun. Oil seeds have been distributed in abundance, farmers are also showing positive response to it,” said a senior official.
Farmers from various parts of Kashmir opine that since oilseed cultivation is good in the context of business, they are willing to cooperate with the government so that they can also reap benefits. Many farmers in Kashmir are already turning to oilseed cultivation and using their land for the same.
“I have six kanals of land which we used to utilize for grass cultivation. We are going to cultivate paddy in summers and during the winter season it is better to cultivate the oil seeds. If the government will provide good support, we can do better and it will be good monetarily as well,” said Abdul Gani , a farmer from Harwan.
Director Agriculture Kashmir, Chowdhary Muhammad Iqbal said that currently 39 thousand hectares of land are under oilseed cultivation in Kashmir. He said that the department is taking steps to get 80 thousand hectares of land under oilseed cultivation.
“We have been working with farmers and there has been a good response to the oilseed mission in Kashmir. We have received 1600 quintals of seed from the government of India for oilseed cultivation. The department distributed over 2000 quintals of seed among farmers of Kashmir this year. We want to take oilseed cultivation to a level where it will contribute to GDP in a major way and our farmers will start earning from the export as well. We will also provide all the scientific and financial help to farmers so that they can smoothly do the work,” Chowdhary said.