Golpattan (Jammu): Amid peace prevailing along the Indo-Pakistan border due to year-long ceasefire, wheat harvesting on the zero line along the International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir’s Gajansoo belt began on Saturday.
Located bang on zero line, the agriculture department’s Seed Multiplication Farm spread on nearly 2,300 acres of land on two sides of border fencing in the Golpattan-Chinore belt, nearly 55 kilometres from Jammu, saw men and machines getting into action since morning to harvest wheat crop.
The ceasefire along the border between India and Pakistan is prevailing since last year. This has rekindled hopes for a peaceful future among border residents, who have been living under constant fear of cross-border shelling, in Jammu & Kashmir.
The ceasefire was announced by the two armies through a joint statement issued on February 25 last.
“We have started harvesting the wheat crop on this farm. Our crops are ripe. we will take few days to complete harvesting in this farm”, the Manager of Seed Multiplication Farm, Chinore, Kuldeep Raj told PTI.
He said that harvesting is taking place on 2,290 acres of land spread on two sides of border fencing. “After completion of the harvesting on this side, we will undertake harvesting across the fencing on an area of 280 acres of land with the support of BSF”, he said.
BSF troops, who are guarding the International Border (IB), allow farmers and employees of the agriculture department to cultivate and harvest their lands across the border fencing.
“BSF troops go with us during harvesting work. They protect and support us”, he said.
Jammu and Kashmir government’s Seed Multiplication Farm, is one of the biggest farms in the Jammu region to produce high-yield seeds for distribution to farmers under the ‘Holistic Agriculture Development Plan’.
The farm also grows oats on 200 acres of land, potatoes, mustard and many other crops.
The men and machines, including harvesters were pressed into services by the department to undertake fast harvesting of the wheat crops.
Harvesting usually starts with the festival of Vaisakhi in Jammu.
The scores of employees agriculture department demand risk allowance on the pattern of BSF.
“We are doing cropping activity under the eyes of Pakistan Rangers. There is also a constant fear among us. We don’t have bullet jackets and helmets like BSF troops. So government should grant us risk allowances”, an official said. The department is working on a war footing on 29 projects under the “holistic agriculture Development Plan”, Additional chief secretary Atal Dulloo said.
He said that HADP is set to be a turning point in the agri-economy of the UT whereby Rs 5,013 crore shall be infused over the next five years through 29 interventions and projects.
“Besides, the 29 interventions are set to create around 19,000 new enterprises in the agriculture sector and an additional 2.8 lakh jobs. This will ultimately increase the GDP of the UT significantly by the next 5 years”, he said.
Leave a Reply