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Paddy harvesting machines bring relief to farmers

Introduction of machinery key thrust, decreases cultivation cost: Dir Agri

Post by Syeda Rafiyah on Sunday, September 25, 2022

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Srinagar, Sep 24: With the introduction of paddy cutter machines, there is a buzz in Kashmir’s paddy farms.
Over the past two weeks, as the paddy cultivation season has started, Ghulam Hussain Malla is excited and happy to cut rice paddy crops with his paddy cutting machine.
“Earlier, we used to cut paddy crops manually which was tiresome. However, last year, I brought a rice cutting machine but we could not use it due to lack of training. This year I learned how to operate it and we used it fully and it saved our time,” he said.
A resident of Hanjiveera Pattan, he said the machine can cut paddy crops of nearly 30 kanals in a day which otherwise used to take days. He said it takes 15-20 minutes to cut paddy in one kanal of land.
“More and more such machines should be introduced and used. I have been working continuously for the past 15 days,” said Malla, who brought the machine on his own.
The easy to operate new machines are also being used in other areas of Kashmir like Baramulla, Ganderbal, Pulwama and other places. The introduction of new machines has eased farmers who are also excited to do the work with machines, unlike the traditional methods which were time-consuming.
“It has eased the cutting process and saved farmers time. The use of machines has decreased the cultivation cost,” said Irshad Ahmad, farmer from Pattan.
Director Agriculture Kashmir, Chowdhary Muhammad Iqbal said the growth potential of hill agriculture has remained underexploited due to various mountain specifications and due to lack of system specific technologies.
“Hilly areas have a lot of potential to accelerate agricultural growth through diversification by the introduction of farm machinery,” he said.
The director said in this regard, there are many plans where due consideration is given for farm machinery and “we have to bridge this gap.”
“Kashmir is not lagging behind. Now the introduction of machinery is a key thrust area which eventually decreases the cultivation cost,” he said.
“We see 60 percent of the cost of cultivation is reduced just by introducing farm friendly machinery in the farmer fields,” the director said.
“We have already provided farm machinery to farmers at their door steps through the introduction of Custom Hiring Centres (CHCs) and farm machinery banks. We have already provided maize shellers, paddy shellers, threshers, harvesters at each panchayat,” he said.
The director said that the department of agriculture is committed to make sure that all these interventions and machines enhance the income of farmers.
“Through machines we will be able to increase the productivity of crops and save operational time. It will promote agripreneurship and create employment opportunities for local educated unemployed youth,” he said.
The agriculture department which has the mandate of promoting machinery in farming has distributed several machines to farmers in different areas of Kashmir.
An official of agriculture department said in the year 2021-2022, they have distributed 1035 paddy threshers, 283 tractors, 297 power tillers/weeders, 140 chaff cutters,150 power trailers, 85 irrigation pumps, 120 motorized vending cars, 11 Custom Hiring Centres (CHCs), 08 machinery banks etc.
Similarly, from 2022-2023, the department has distributed/made available 450 tractors, 508 power tillers, 300 weeders, 1200 irrigation pumps, 15 combined harvesters, 40 oil mills, 40 farm machinery banks and other machines.
“This year 50 percent of the machines have been given to the people while the rest of the machines will be distributed before the year-end,” he said.

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