Increasing pesticide use forces Kashmir farmers to look at organic options

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Director Agriculture Kmr-22As the usage of pesticides is going on unabated in Kashmir the scientist and agricultural community has pressed the panic button, and is now motivating the farmers to return to organic farming.

Modern organic farming was introduced long back in Kashmir but it is not found many takers in the valley, and it’s spread is not on widespread. According to scientists at Sher-i Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences the use of profuse chemicals leads to toxicity in the soil and also makes the soil infertile.

“When it comes to organic farming it has no side effects and should be adopted at all levels of farming, says Rafiq Ahmad, an official at this university.

The university has till now educated many farmers about organic farming and is keen to bring it out on a large scale.

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“There is a huge demand of organic products in the world over and since Kashmir is known for its horticulture and agriculture so we are working on a large scale programs,” he adds.

He further says that the organic farming is being taken by farmers in all parts of the world and more and more farmers are shunning the practice of using pesticides.

Among various crops which are being cultivated right now using organic farming includes Basmati rice, walnuts, saffron etc.

The university has also introduced organic agriculture program and has been very beneficial to the farmers. The university is also running a bio-fertiliser plant in North Kashmir.

The government is now working to make the market linkages strong for the organic products so that it will bring more profit to farmers.

It is also said that it can make the farming sustainable and can lead towards a better future of both state and famers.

Scientists believe that organic farming only makes a crop taste better but also congruous to the environment.

“They do not harm the ecology and maintain a balance in the nature – which is quite contrary if we use pesticides in farming,” Ahmad says.

Lubna Reshi