Diminishing Agri Land

August 5, 2017 0 Comments EDITORIAL 65 Views
Diminishing Agri Land

There is a dismal picture of the agriculture land available in Jammu and Kashmir, especially in Kashmir valley. The encroachments and the process of turning the agriculture land into residential areas are increasing the momentum with each passing day. Most of the encroached agriculture land in the State has either gone to the tainted bureaucrats and tainted politicians. There is a dim picture of diminishing agriculture land predicted a brighter future. With the food security law borrowed and applied to the state, one part of the worry as it appeared was over. This single piece of legislation translated into mere readjusting of monthly ration; as expected the policy makers were more concerned about food security to the poor in India with the law securing needed essentials at government subsidized rates that even the poorest could afford. Now in the middle of the term, governments ought to see a different set of challenges to food security. Outside the state famers agitations present a grim picture of agriculture’s future in India. Some of the agitations were also marked with violence almost leading to disruption of law and order. Food security emerged as a concern after farmers as a mark of protest decided not to grow and produce certain crops mainly used for public consumption. Limited paddy cultivation in Kashmir is feeding only a small section of population. The loss of agricultural land has pared down the employment opportunities to the services sector; and a number of youth who fail to get government jobs remain without any means of livelihood. Such a concern should have been shared by all government agencies, but it seems that every government department works in contravention to the agenda of every other one. Agriculture department sees loss of land a concern, but housing department frames policies that condone such actions and offer a scope for giving fillip to the growth through housing projects. A balance needs to be struck on the needs of the people and such a skewed scenario must be checked. It should alarm everybody that from 8.47 lakh hectares in 2005-06 the agricultural land has now got reduced to 7.94 lakh hectres in 2015-16, which is a decline of 53,000 hectares. Agriculture contributes 19.32 percent towards the GDP of the state and there are still 70 percent of the people who work directly or indirectly in agricultural sector, but the pace of the loss could further shrink employment opportunities. Previous data provided by Agriculture Production Department reveals that more than 10,000 hectares of cultivable land in Kashmir has been converted in the last twenty years. The tussle on the issue between legislators and even between different departments is a grim reminder of their efficacy, competence and their deliberate interference to sabotage than salvage the situation.

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