The agricultural land in Jammu and Kashmir has shrunk by over 3,40,000 hectares in the past four years.
The official data said, “In four years, Kashmir has lost double the agriculture land lost in three decades.”
It further revealed that in 2012, the area under the paddy cultivation in Kashmir was 1,58,000 hectare which shrunk to all-time low of 1,41,000 hectare at present.
The experts predict that by the end of this century, the valley will face severe food-deficit which will further increase its dependence on imports.
Shakeel Romshoo, Head of Kashmir University’s Earth Sciences Department, said:
“As per surveys, major conversion of paddy land has been due to economic reasons and if the trend continues—coupled with the climatic change—we will be 80 percent dependent on imports for meeting our food requirements by the end of this century.”
Total area under paddy cultivation has reduced by 3,40,000 hectare. kashmirink
Ghulam Hassan Mir, divisional town planner, said that unplanned development is one of the main reasons behind this.
“No rule is followed and nobody cares. One small anomaly ignored leads to another and then ultimately results in mega disaster. People need buildings as well as money, and it forces farmers to sacrifice their land. Under planned constructions, we would still be using agricultural land, but it would be far more efficient and judicious.”
Experts say that politicians and government functionaries have to address this issue on the priority basis.