Agriculture and Crops
Agriculture is the
most important industry of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Even those engaged
in other industries depend on agriculture for raw material.
About 80% people in the
State are cultivators in one form or the other. The total area of the State
according to the 1992 record of India is 24.15 lakh hecteres. Out of this area
138,6867 Sq. Kms. are rural and only 305.4 Sq. Kms.are urban. This signifies
that the entire State of Jammu and Kashmir is rural with 6503 villages. Out of
the total area of 24.15 lakh hect. agricultural statistics are available only
for about 8.26 lakh hect. The rest of the area is under forests and mountains.
Scope of land
cultivation in the State
Cultivation of rice requires hot and moist climate. It is a Kharief crop and is
sown in March-April and harvested in Autumn. Sufficient water must cover the
fields. It is grown mostly in the valley of Kashmir at 2100 metres above sea
level. Total area under rice cultivation in the valley of Kashmir is 374000
acres having a yield of 25.5 quintals per acre.
Planting rice in the paddy
fields of the valley.
2. Wheat. It is a
rabi crop and its plant requires a cool and somewhat moist climate in the
beginning and warm and dry weather at the harvest time. The average rainfall
should be between 50 to 70 cms. and that too at intervals. It is sown in August
and harvested in March, April. It is cultivated in the entire Outer Plain and
the Outer Hills. Important wheat producing areas are Kathua,
Samba and Reasi. In Kashmir, it is grown like grass. Total area under wheat
cultivation in Jammu region is 3 l000 acres, in Kashmir 78000 acres and in
Ladakh 7000 acres.
3. Maize. It
requires hot dry climate. Rainfall required for maize varies from 75 cms to 125
cms. It is sown in May-July and harvested in August-November. It is cultivated
on Karewa lands in the valley of Kashmir on about 303,000 acres.
4. Tobacoo. It
requires a warm and moist climate and a rich soil containing lime. Frost kills
it. It is largely grown in the valley of Kashmir.
5. Rape seed,
mustard, linseed, sesamum, toria, cottonseed are the chief varieties of
oil-seeds. They require hot and moist climate. They are grown all over Kshmir
province but the chief oil seed producing areas are Anantnag and Srinagar. 6700
acres in Kashmir region produce oil seeds.
6. Pulses. Hot and
dry climate suit their cultivation. They are largely grown on small patches of
land and the pulses of Kashmir Valley are well known for their quality.
7. Saffron is a
cash crop and cultivated on the Pampore in the month of July-August Karewas in
specially made square beds. Each bed measures l.5m and is provided with narrow
trench on all sides to prevent the accumulation of water. The soil is alluvial
and lucstrine. About 3000 acres are under saffron cultivation in Pampore.
8. Amarnath (Ganhar)
is sown after 3 or 4 ploughings. The grain when ready is parched, ground and
eaten with milk. It is largely sown in the valley of Kashmir.
9. Fruits like
apples, pears, cherries, plums, grapes, pomegranates, mulberry, peaches,
apricots, walnuts and almonds require a cool climate moderate rainfall and
bright sunshine. The climate of Kashmir suits their cultivation They are, as
such, mostly grown in the valley. Fruit cultivation has been known in Kashmir
since very early times.
In recent years fruit
cultivation has extended with readily available facilities of better seed,
nursery culture, insecticides and very cheap and better transport facilities for
their export. Fruit cultivation at present is an important source of wealth to
About 3.50 lakh tons of
fruits are produced annually, out of which more than 2.00 lakh tons are exported
to the foreign countries. Supply of machinery, equipment and technical advice to
the orchardists by the State Govt. free of charge has greatly helped fruit
cultivation. The training of gardeners and the establishment of a fruit research
centre is no doubt helping the fruit industry a lot.
The valley of Kashmir is
also known for the cultivation of potatoes, turnips, carrots, spinach, tomatoes,
cabbage, cauliflowers, raddish, onions, lotus-stalk, brinjal, gourd and bitter
1. Silk. It is
obtained from silk worms which feed on mulberry trees. These trees require a
warm and moist climate. Silk cocoons are,therefore, grown in abundance in the
valley of Kashmir Two silk factories, one in Jammu and the other in Srinagar,
manufacture silkyarn from these cocoons.
2. Wool. It is
obtained from sheep and in the State they are mostly reared in the valley of
Kashmir on the grassy meadows. Quality sheep from Australia have been imported
for sheep breeding in Kashmir.