Size of agriculture land decreasing in Kulgam

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Mohammed ashraf ganie

Kulgam, Aug 6: As Kulgam was known as rice bowl of Kashmir which was considered the hub of rice production, now more and more people tend to change the land pattern. Farmer’s appetite to earn more money from horticulture has led to the fast decline of agricultural land. The conversion of agricultural land for commercial purposes continues unabated in Jammu and Kashmir in absence of any monitoring and action by the state government.
Chief agriculture officer Kulgam told Precious Kashmir that the size of agriculture land in Kulgam is decreasing day by day which is a matter of concern as we have 16411 hectares of paddy land in 2015 and in 2016 it was reduced to 16100 hectares which is now as 16000 hectares in 2017, and same decrease is in maize as in the 2015 maize was cultivated in 6400 hectares which is now reduced to 5430 The area under which pulses, vegetables potatoes and khrief padder are cultivated has fastly declined.
He further said that the revenue department is not taken is seriously while as the buildings are being constructed on agriculture land and we have rejected the application of bricks kiln we did give them permission to build a brick kiln in Kalum area Kulgam but no one is approaching to the office for converting the agriculture land into Horticulture the Horticulture department is providing the lay out formats to orchardists.
Section 133-A of the Jammu and Kashmir land revenue Act,SVT,1996 ( No land which grows or has been growing shali crop, vegetables or saffron lullis shall be used for any purpose without permission in writing of revenue minister
When contacted chief Horticulture officer Kulgam he said yes we are providing the lay out to orchardists as there is a huge demand from people and we are providing them helping hand in making apple gardens by Providing them high density and conventional density apple plants
Abdul Rashid a resident of Zazripora said that we are losing the precious land by changing it into apple orchard as it will effect our life in several ways ,we are dependent on rice now we will be dependent on the other states we will provide us rice. Government should take strong note of that so that the people can’t suffer in future.