The vegetable sector is an important lifeline of all agricultural economies.
As concerns about food security grow throughout the world, the heavy use of chemical fertilizers in the production of vegetables is emerging as a key area of Concern. The quality production of vegetables in any area is one of the indicators of the prosperity of that area.
What has become a key aspect in the vegetable sector is the trend of growing exotic vegetables. Slowly and steadily the exotic vegetable arena is growing throughout the world. In Kashmir valley too we are seeing more people getting involved in the exotic vegetable production. Agriculture is a major main sector of Kashmir, so exotic vegetables are a key area.
The term exotic vegetables refers to a large variety of vegetables that are marketed as exotic or ethnic products. These include, for example, broccoli, okra, bitter melon, mini aubergines, chilli peppers, baby corn etc. These also include niche herbs such as lemon grass, coriander, galangal or ginger, and exotic roots such as cassava, yams and taro.
The growing demand for exotic vegetables is expected to propel the hydroponics market. Rapid growth in urban population among emerging economies, and the growing establishment of gourmet restaurants across the globe are contributing to rapid growth in consumption of exotic vegetables such as mushrooms, tangy kiwis, green olives, and fresh broccoli, dragon fruit, and others.
Action plan for Promotion of High Value/Exotic Vegetables
In a bright development, just few time back the DC of Srinagar District Mohammad Aijaz Asad along with top faces of administration was apprised about the proposed comprehensive Action plan for Promotion of High Value/Exotic Vegetables (Brocoli ,Lettuce, Red Cabbage,Red & Yellow Capsicum, Parsley,Chinese Cabbage, Kale and Celery) to be established at Khonmoh and inside Dal Lake areas like Naidyar, Miskeen Bagh and Abi Nowpora in the district.
Experts opine that the growing of high-value vegetables has the potential to turn agriculture into an export-oriented business that pays profits to vegetable growers. Exotic vegetables were once the possession of the wealthy, and none of them would have been grown on a wide scale here. But now throughout the length and breadth of Kashmir we are seeing exotic vegetables being grown.
Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha ji has time and again stressed that agriculture is our key focus. The LG made it amply clear a few weeks ago that his government has given special impetus to make agriculture system sustainable and profitable, since 70% of the population is dependent on agriculture based economy in Jammu and Kashmir.
LG Sinha had made these remarks while inaugurating a farmers awareness conference on the use of ‘Nano Urea’ organized by Indian Farmers Fertilizer Cooperative Ltd.
Scope For High Revenue
Immediately after the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, the government had stressed on the importance of growing exotic vegetables to transform the future of Union Territory of The Jammu & Kashmir towards betterment. In this regard the administration had begun an outreach program to encourage farmers of the Valley to cultivate exotic vegetables and herbs such as broccoli, lettuce, celery and parsley to make farming more profitable.
The union territory administration has started importing seeds from Holland and Spain, which have expertise in cultivating the crops, and distributing them among local farmers at a reasonable price.
Employment Avenue For Youth
Exotic vegetables sector can be promoted for the youth of Kashmir to provide them meaningful employment opportunities and enable them to earn a respectable livelihood. The climate of Kashmir is highly suitable to grow diverse kinds of exotic vegetables. In this way exotic vegetables can redefine the agriculture and economy of Kashmir. It would give lucrative touch to the overall prospects of vegetable market in Kashmir.
After the abrogation, one of the main area pin pointed by the Union territory Government is to achieve self sufficient approach in the field of vegetables production. Exotic vegetable is important part of this vision.
The government should continue its focus on exotic vegetable cultivation and ensure that in coming times the fertile land of Kashmir becomes the hub of exotic vegetables.