Sheeraz Ahmad Alaie
While addressing the horticulture of Kashmir valley, there is no need to introduce anyone regarding its blessings. Not only providing the balance for nature, it balances the socio-economic factor of human as well.
The Kashmir valley is famous for apple production providing the livelihood measures for a large number of people. The farmers cultivating such fruit have huge economic expectations from their produce.
One can observe the strong emotions and feelings of farmers regarding their orchards and produce, where the economic survival wholly base on it.
But, unfortunately such hope and expectations are broken down by various hazardous factors including both natural and human.
Presently, it has been observed that due to improper climatic conditions during the last weeks of June this year, most of the orchards have got serious leaf diseases. The farmers feel very miserable and depressed after visiting their orchards.
This issue incites to think that, where the farmers should appeal for curing their trees and produce. There occurs the lack of experts and such kind of horti-clinics even at the district level, where the farmers can visit and get some recommendations and advice.
Without any proper advice and suggestion, they visit the pesticide dealer and get the pesticide whatever they recommend.
This is because they have no other option to whom they can discuss their issues. The quality of most of such pesticides in the state has proven ineffective to cure diseases. It is a common word from every farmer that the pesticides used for spraying are ineffective and spurious.
One can observe this statement from various leading newspapers of the state, but unfortunately no authority has yet worked it out. By the use of ineffective and spurious pesticides the farmers not only waste their money but also the plants as well as their own health get ill effected.
Besides, the horticulture stays as the main economic sector of the state, it is still highly unorganised sector without proper involvement of formal policies.
The word pesticide means to kill pests but due to the use of spurious chemicals it depicts the killing of trust and belief of farmers on science and technology.
The farmers compromise with their health and life while dealing with the usage of these chemical substances. It is to wonder who approves such ineffective pest toxic substances, which hazard the humans and environment.
Why don’t the higher authorities take a note on the improving such sector, where people have diversified from subsistence to commercial farming that is paddy farming to apple production. It is because of the high profit value of fruits as compared to paddy.
The horticulture sector rely on intensive technologies like fertilisers and pesticides which should be of best quality but unfortunately not found in the Valley.
Such unmonitored use of toxic chemicals can lead to soil degradation, ground and surface water contamination and adverse health impacts on humans and animals.
One of the earlier study in 2015 stated that, substandard, spurious/counterfeit pesticides in India, will reach 40 percent by value of pesticides sold in the country by 2019.
It is inhuman and insane to make the pesticide industrialists, manufacturers or dealers richer, while harming the poor farmers. The higher authorities should once get aware of the cost inputs of the farmers, how much they pay for producing and protecting the fruits.
It needs crucial attention, why the governing authorities from a high time do not pay attention in innovating the horticulture sector.
While the developing regions are now practising the sustainable agricultural practices to save the humans as well as the environment. The State of Jammu Kashmir has become a common place for trade of spurious substances.
In the state both the human medicine as well as the horticultural chemical products have lost their effectiveness as well as the belief and trust. The critical point to be addressed is to explore why the state is mostly dealing with such fraudulent companies.
Is there nobody regulating and monitoring such issues. It is high time to deal with such socio-economic issues, otherwise its menaces cannot be controlled.
The higher state authorities needs to monitor and formulate the pathways leading sustainable way of development for benefit of the nature and people. The well-said paradise on earth needs critical focus to stay sustainable, which is the prime appeal of this article.
Author is a research scholar at the Central University of Gujarat, India