Just one dry week required to complete all agricultural activities: Director
The reason behind the current weather situation in Jammu and Kashmir is climate change and if such a situation persists, it will have an adverse impact on the horticulture and agriculture productivity, experts said on Friday.
Prof Shakil Ahmad Romshoo, Vice Chancellor of the Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST), Awantipora, and a renowned geology and environmental expert in an exclusive chat with the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) said the reasons for the current weather situation in the Kashmir valley is the increased frequency of western disturbances over the Kashmir Valley.
“The increase in the frequency of western disturbance is due to global climate change. One of the important characteristics of climate change is the extreme weather events like thunderstorms, lightning, high rainfall intensity, increased storms, etc which we are observing in Kashmir in the last couple of months,” he said.
Prof Romshoo said the abnormal weather situation in Kashmir in the last three months coinciding with the flowering and fruit season will have a significant adverse impact on the productivity of horticulture crops.
On agriculture crops, he said it is too early to say anything about it as the transplanting of paddies shall begin in the next couple of weeks. However, if the current weather conditions prolong, then it might create much adverse impact on paddies and other agricultural crops, he added.
Dr Tariq, a senior scientist at SKUAST-K told KNO that the continuous erratic weather may lead to scabs, fruit rusting, fruit quality and size. He said the regular rains and cloudy weather may lead to fruit fall and can impact the size and quality of the fruit as well.
The fruit size and quality can improve if there will be pleasant weather ahead, Dr Tariq said, adding that the continuous rains have added to the worries of farmers as it has also caused disturbances in the spray schedule and may lead to fungal diseases.
An official of the horticulture department said the erratic weather conditions have hampered cross-pollination due to which productivity goes down.
Meanwhile, Director Agriculture Kashmir Mohammad Iqbal Choudhary told KNO that the sector is safe as of now. However, if such weather conditions continue till June 15, it will definitely impact the agriculture sector as well, he said.
Iqbal said if paddy can be transplanted by June 21, there won’t be any problem, adding that the maize must be planted by June 10 as sowing it later can put an impact on its productivity.
“Hailstorms and stagnant water can affect vegetables but till June 15 we are safe. If it continues, it will impact crops,” he said, adding, “There were problems in the paddy nurseries but preventive measures were taken on time and alternative arrangements were made in the areas affected by hailstorms.”
“If we will get just one dry week, all agricultural operations will be completed,” the Director Agriculture said, adding, “After that, the farmers can get the benefit of Fasal Bima Yojana if their crops will be damaged and this scheme is applicable in all 20 districts of J&K.”