Srinagar, Jun 13: Amid water crisis in parts of Kashmir, paddy transplantation season is going on full swing with non-local labourers returning to fields after two years of Covid pandemic.
Most agricultural activities in Kashmir are now dependent on non-local workers but Covid years had caused acute shortage of the labourers with farmers doing the work on their own.
This year, non-local workers returned to paddy fields but shortage of water has hit the farming, said Mohammad Yousuf, a farmer from Awantipora.
He said that wherever water is available, most locals are hiring non-local labourers who are transplanting paddy as farmers are trying to ensure that paddy is transplanted on more and more land.
Hundreds of local farmers are seen these days engaged in the paddy transplantation and everyone including women, children and men besides non-local labourers are seen toiling it out in the fields.
Farmers believe that Thaejkaad, a typical Kashmiri word for paddy transplantation, has its cultural importance. It’s believed that the ongoing season brings blessing and prosperity.
They said that the practice of sowing seeds of rice is a three-fold process. It begins with “sowing the rice seeds” which is dedicated to making a nursery ‘Thaejwaan’ and it takes around 40 days in developing ‘Thaejwaan’ of about nine inches.
They said that once seeds turn into saplings, land is being tilled and farm manure is mixed with it to make it fertile. Subsequently, the process of Thaejkaad begins.
To note, farmers in Kashmir are facing problems this year due to low water level in water bodies leaving dozens of irrigation schemes defunct.
Moreover, the agriculture department has been advising people to sow pulses and vegetables this year due to shortage of water.