The rice production in Kashmir has unfortunately gone down over the years. It is time to deal with this serious problem as our entire population that sums to 8000000 eats rice in Kashmir. Rice is taken two times a day – during lunch and dinner.
Reasons for the Decline
The ever increasing population is one of the primary reasons that have largely contributed to the decline of rice production in Kashmir. Information that we have obtained from the 2001 census suggest that 2000 hectares of land was under paddy cultivation in the valley that reduced to 1500 hectares in 2011. Such decline happened as a result of the construction of new homes, and other dwellings.
Another apparent reason for the decline in the local rice production is the conversion of paddy fields into apple orchards. Such step was taken in consideration of growing economic needs. After all, paddy fields don’t yield much commercial produce than apple orchards. Though such move strengthens our economic capacity but makes us import dependent. FYI, Kashmir spends cores of money on imported rice, transportation unnecessarily.
The lack of irrigational water is yet another reason that has encouraged the decline in the local rice production. The unavailability of water on time forced people to turn their paddy fields into wood lands.
Solutions to the Problem
Finding solutions that treat the root causes of rice production decline in Kashmir has become very important for us otherwise our future generations might be hit by the severe food crisis.
To deal with the problem of increasing population, what we need to do is to build multi-storey buildings which could accommodate more people instead of exploiting the new lands. Buildings should be built after a proper consultation with engineers.
The existing paddy fields should not be exploited for apple cultivation since apple isn’t a meal we can easily switch from rice.
Arid lands that have been occupied mostly by Bulgarian poplar trees need to be reformed into paddy lands. Poplar trees have proved very harmful to the growth of our local tree species such as willow and especially to our health. Our natively grown tree species began to dye off ever since we planted the Bulgarian poplar trees in Kashmir. The reason is the fact that Bulgarian poplar doesn’t allow our local species get adequate water rather absorbs their part as well.
In conclusion, a huge pile of money could be saved if we go for the local production of rice since we have abundance of fertile land available. People even don’t realise the fact the local produce will not only save us money that we spend on importation and the transportation of rice from other states.
In a time where every region strives to go indigenous, Kashmir is unfortunately a place where people are becoming import dependent. That is not a good sign of development rather a sign of degradation. We will need to redevelop our local taste and make ourselves habitual to local rice produce.
We could be hit by food crisis in near future if we don’t change our attitude towards our own local agricultural produce. Instead of running away from the production of local eatables, we must be developing and expanding our rice cultivation because of population is growing at a faster rate. More families are emerging, and hence more food will be required in future.
Our vision should be exploiting and developing more land for paddy cultivation for our future generation that could otherwise become the victim of food crisis.