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Bougam village offers vegetables to locals and employment to non-locals

Post by on Tuesday, July 5, 2022

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Budgam, July 04: It is always a busy season for the farmers of village Bougam, a small hamlet in Central Kashmir’s Budgam district. People here do not cultivate paddy or apples like other places in the valley but are happy by producing multiple varieties of vegetables around the year.
It helps them to generate income in all seasons and also creates ample employment opportunities for a large number of local and non-local laborers.  
Located 18-km away from the summer capital Srinagar, this village is famous for producing a large number of vegetable varieties and supplying these to other valley markets throughout the year. Every day one could see a beeline of load carriers in the village which are being loaded with fresh produce of vegetables to be supplied to several markets in the Valley.
“We used to plant paddy in our fields but the shortage of water during the peak season forced us to give up paddy farming. Later on, when the adequate irrigation facilities were set up, villagers here shifted to vegetable farming,” Tanveer Ahmad Magray, a farmer, told the Rising Kashmir.
Both local and non-local labourers could also be seen working at fields in Bougam as they remain busy in packing fresh vegetables like Green Collards (Haakh), Cauliflower, Brinjal, Radish, Capsicum, Garlic, Cucumber, Spinach, Carrot and different varieties of peas in big bags, which are then transported to local Mandis as well as outside the state.
 “For us, these vegetables are cash crops that fetch us money round the year. On average, a family makes Rs 2.5 lakh annually,” said Abdul Rashid Shiekh, another farmer, who was loading bags of carrots in a truck placed close to the village stream.
“Here villagers love to cultivate vegetables instead of apples and paddy as they see vegetables as a good cash crop. Some earn more than Rs 5 lakh from this farming,” he added
Fatima, an elderly woman in the village, says that vegetable cultivation has become the main source of income for the farmers here. “Throughout the year, we remain busy with vegetable farming,” she added
The Chief Agriculture Officer, Budgam, Syed Tafazul Hussain, said that the total area of land under vegetable farming is 198 hectors and the average daily surplus produce of vegetables exported to outside market is 60 to 70 metric tons during the peak season.
“Cabbage, cauliflower, tomatoes,  carrot,  knol khol, exotic vegetables, and also potatoes are among the few varieties grown in the Bougam village,” he said.
He added that last year revenue generated through vegetable farming in the area was around Rs 75 to 83 crore.” As many as 472 families are associated with vegetable farming in the village,” he added.
While farmers in the village are happy with supplying vegetables to the Valley, for now, they are demanding the setting up of a Mandi in the village for easy sale of their produce.

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