Budgam: The farmers in the valley are worried about the fate of the recently-sown paddy, saying the erratic weather has harmed the seeds.
Farmers from Budgam, who work with paddy, told a local news gathering agency that the paddy cultivation, which was supposed to begin after some days, is not possible now since the intermittent rains have harmed the seedlings.
“We can’t even sow new ones,” said Bashir Ahmad, a farmer from Karipora. “We have never seen paddy fields in such a condition before.”Some seedlings have been damaged and the rest have turned weak due to the cold and continuous erratic weather.”
He said if the government is concerned about the situation, they should step in. “We have planted the seeds we had, but now that they have been damaged and some nurseries are weak; we are left with nothing,” Bashir said, adding, “We want the agricultural department to take necessary steps for farmers.”
Another farmer, Javaid Ahmad from Chitru Dangerpora, said the seeds are not growing or showing any improvement. “It appears that they are damaged due to rains and the lack of sunlight,” he said.
Javaid said if the agriculture department takes steps, it can save the farmers from incurring losses. “Farmers’ seeds take a long time to grow because they must be kept in water for 40 days and then for 8 days in wet bags. However, the seeds available with the department are different,” he said.
Agricultural Extension Officer Budgam, Mohammad Shafi said that in order to combat the vulnerability of seeds caused by harsh weather, the farmers should use scientific ways rather than worrying about the paddy seedlings.
“Farmers should drain the water from the nurseries so the seedlings will get the necessary sunlight so they can recover, as the paddy nurseries have shown weakness owing to the lack of sunlight and the presence of water in them,” he said.
The officer said that farmers should apply pesticides like mancozeb to protect their crops from fungal attacks because the seedlings have become weak and there is likelihood that they will contract a fungal illness.
“Farmers should also use the seeds available with the agricultural department as they are disease-resistant and bad weather resistant and their production is more than the normal seeds and before sowing,” the agriculture officer said, adding, “Farmers should receive proper technique from the experts in the agriculture department. The nurseries will heal as soon as the weather gets better since they will receive more sunlight, which is the main cause of their weak condition.”
Dr Ishrat Naveed, an Agriculture Technical Officer in Budgam, said that people are worried about their paddy nurseries as a result of the erratic weather that has been occurring over the past 15 days.
Instead of worrying, I urge these farmers to take precautions whenever they anticipate erratic weather, such as keeping their nurseries well-watered and avoiding making them near flood-prone canals and channels, he said.
Dr Ishrat advised the farmers to store water before allowing it to enter nurseries, saying it directly flows from glaciers and is quite cold which could harm seedlings. (KNO)