The Changing Face of Agriculture in Kashmir (E)
It is said everything can wait but not agriculture. The crown of India, Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh regions, are predominantly agrarian economies but the pressures of the twenty-first century are forcing changes in the agriculture systems. The biggest issue is the fragmentation of land. Today, the landholding is really very small in Kashmir says Dr J P Sharma, Vice-Chancellor, Sher-e- Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Srinagar who believes the creation of `farmer-producer organizations can help overcome some of the issues. Dr Sharma asserts that for these very beautiful regions to truly emerge as a hub for organic produce especially for horticulture a new movement of farming entrepreneurship and agri-businesses has to take place. The potential for India to become self-sufficient in apple production is high and the adoption of modern farming techniques is helping a lot. The special certification drive to ensure the purity of saffron has helped the saffron producers get better prices and the consumers are assured of an un-adulterated product. Special small-scale industries are also promoting the production of organic honey. In essence, Dr Sharma asserts that the Kashmir Himalayas are well poised to witness a new revolution in agriculture where agri-businesses could add huge value. "