Farmers in Kashmir ecstatic as vegetables earn good prices

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PULWAMA — Farmers in Kashmir, including from the southern district, have profited from high vegetable prices during this year’s cultivation.

Farmers in the district’s Patalbagh village, who cultivate peas and garlic in their farms, said that they earned good profits when compared to the last year.

Mushtaq Ahmad Dar, a farmer from Patalbagh, said that the crop was hit by ‘unfavourable’ rainfall which affected the overall produce. “But thankfully, the prices were lucrative for the peas and we earned handsome profits this year.”

“Last year, the produce was large comparatively but prices were on the lower side. This year, the prices made the farming of peas profitable even despite the Coronavirus-induced lockdown. We could easily sell our produce at over Rs. 30 per kilogram,” Mushtaq said.

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Another farmer, Javed Ahmad, said that farming becomes a source of happiness only when the prices are competitive. “We work hard in our fields to earn our livelihood and it really makes one happy if his/her hard work pays off by way of profitable sale of cultivation.”

He, however, rued the lack of support from the Department of Agriculture Kashmir, saying the officials keep advising them about different sprays and methods but do not provide ‘any sort of assistance’ in this regard.

Meanwhile, another farmer, Mohammad Jabbar Wani from Pathan village of Pulwama, said, “Garlic produce for the year can easily be called a bumper crop in true sense, given that both the produce and prices were quite desirable. We sold off our produce at Rs. 70 per kilogram.”

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While the farmer community is happy for the present pricing, they couldn’t forget to express their fears. Given the valley is prone to natural calamities like flooding and hailstorms, they asked the UT government to frame a ‘comprehensive policy’ to provide them with economic security by way of crop insurance to cover losses in the event of crop failures or agricultural damage caused by natural disasters.

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