he news that many agriculturalists in the valley are contemplating to switch over to more orchards has broken many hearts in Kashmir. Yes in fact Kashmir the Kashmiri apples are the richest in the world and Kashmir is one of the leading producers of fresh apples. The quality of the Kashmiri apple is said to be of the finest variety. But the very decision of a few of the agriculture producers to switch over to horticulture or more precisely to convert the rice growing land into an orchard would go down in history books as a sad event.
In Kashmir, a lot of expectations were associated with horticulture, but unfortunately due to a series of events no noteworthy result was achieved.
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While the successive governments worked to improve irrigation facilities, and a few teams from the department would visit the fields to check the health of the crop it seems nothing much has changed.
Comparatively, the nearby areas of Sopore, Shopian, and other areas are thriving on the “Big Apple Money” some of the Pampore residents now feel it is not any good to remain in distress for such a long duration and are contemplating switching over to lesser labor-intensive horticulture: the last resort has been chosen because of complete lack of confidence in the policies of the government vis-à-vis increasing agriculture production.
It must be brought to memory that paddy fields across the length and breadth of Kashmir valley are being systematically converted into apple orchards giving instant monetary benefits to the growers but in the long run making the UT deficient in paddy produce.