According to an estimation the surface area of world is said to be 510.072 million sq. km comprising land area of 148.940 million sq.km (29.10 percent of the total area) and 361.132 million sq. km for water (70.81percent of the total area).
Forest area is of the magnitude of 40 million sq.km making 07.83 percent of the total area. 47.90 million sq. km, (09.39 percent of the total area), are mentioned by The Food & Agriculture Organisation - a specialised agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger.
Right from its identification and estimation the area of land has been under constant pressure due to various reasons.
One such is increase in sea level owing to rising temperatures.
“Over the past 100 years global temperatures have risen about one degree Celsius with sea level response to that warming totalling about 160 to 210 mm (with about half of that amount occurring since 1993) or about 6 to 8 inches. The rising water level is mostly due to combination of melt-water from glaciers, ice sheets and thermal expansion of sea water as it warms.”
Simply it means that sea level continues to rise at the rate of about one-eighth of an inch per year. But the most terrifying is the human intervention. To start any activity for production of goods or services or residential purposes the first prerequisite is availability of land. This is irrespective of developed, developing or underdeveloped countries.
Opening of new roads, widening or extension of existing ones, carving of new ring roads or expressways/highways, establishing of parks, construction of buildings for official /public use are other irresistible constraints associated with growth in population and change in taste & volume of civilisation.
While these incurable necessities have to be endured the curable ones also miss our attention, or are ignored. With the unique characteristics of land being fixed & limited, there remains no doubt in its scope for utilisation to the best extent possible.
Notwithstanding the fact that financial and the economic parameters do not relent to its no or little use especially for food grains purposes, moral grounds too do not sanction its idleness anywhere anytime. The land is very important as home of various creatures who derive sustenance from it.
J & K with its peculiar topography and climatic/weather conditions especially Kashmir side much of its land falls in the areas which are non-conducive for arable activities and multiple cropping to raise food grains production.
Consequently J & K becomes one of the toppers in the import of food grains in India. This situation is aggravated with the continuous shrinking of land holdings yearly due to sub-division and fragmentation of land on account of nuclear families where much of land goes waste on erection of numerous boundaries for segmented holdings. The patches are in some cases fenced.
On inquiring about these barren lands their owners reply that they prefer these to remain idle for fear of dispute with the tillers. They justify their withholding which results in collective loss as they forfeit the product to secure the principal.
It was practically seen that some tenants refused to cease tenancy after some years of cultivation and leave the possession of land to the original owner. Many unsettled situations arising thus led/lead to filing of suits in courts of law to recoup the possession & proprietary rights besides suffering loss of social/cordial relations.
Perchance landlord is not in a position to cultivate the land for some time due to some problems he goes into tenancy and that is the best recourse. Sometimes a husbandman is not well versed with the techniques and manner of farming or wilfully takes a casual view of cultivation that results in low or sub-standard output.
The position demands change to allot it to someone else thought better for the purpose. Tenancy becomes a matter of concern for it goes in trouble on refusal of the tenant to vacate the land after some years of tilling which results in triangular loss to the tenant, landlord and the stock account of the economy at large.
In Islamic way of life land is not to be left unsown and uncultivated except under force majeure. It has to be cultivated by the owner himself or given to someone for cultivation on the terms & conditions in consonance with the subject of tenancy in Islam for instance profit-sharing.
However, ownership does not change on being given the mere possession to raise crops except where there is documented reference as sale deed or the live witnesses to the act of testacy expressed explicitly for rights of ownership.
Agriculture Universities, Research Institutions and researchers have also an important role to play in the invention and improvement of seeds & seed technology besides supervision with a view to raising the production better in quality and volume with cost benefit analysis.
They are to tunnel ways that lead to increase in production and reduce dependence on burgeoning imports. It is heartening to know that during 6/2021 SKUAS&T Kashmir has been placed among the top three best performing State Agriculture Universities from the 58 such universities assessed for the progress achieved for institutional development during 2020-21 under the World Bank Funded National Agricultural Higher Education of Indian Council of Agriculture Research New Delhi by experts from the World Bank.
“SKUAS&T Kashmir envisioned model aims at building next generation human capital capable of steering knowledge-based and technology-driven agro-economy of the State transforming the subsistence labour intensive and low remunerative farming into profitable, income generating production system. The SKUAS&T-K is going to establish two new centres (I) Centre for Artificial Intelligence (ii) Innovative, Incubation and Entrepreneurship Centre which will be a unique facility in Jammu & Kashmir available for prospective entrepreneurs. The two centres shall help in promoting new technologies like the use of drones and robotics and sensor based precision techniques in agriculture”, said The SKUAS&T authorities.
All, including the technical/no–technical agro-institutions are to contribute their efforts and make masses concerned aware about better tenancy/production to add to the kitty of tenant, landlord.
The author is a former Sr. Audit Officer and Consultant in the A.G’s Office Srinagar.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.
The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.