4 May 2023

Agriculture: Lush Green Fields Of Vegetables Are Replacing Apple Orchards In J&K's Budgam District

Srinagar: Bougam village in Chadora area of Budgam district, located in the central part of Jammu and Kashmir, is known as 'Mini Punjab' for the production of high quality vegetables.

As far as one can see, the lush green gardens of different types of vegetables are visible in which men, women, local and non-local laborers work round-the-clock.

Landowners prefer to grow vegetables instead of fruit orchards

Fayaz Ahmed, a local landowner said that the landowners of this village prefer to grow a variety of vegetables instead of fruit orchards to increase their income and this trend is spreading to the surrounding villages as well.

He said, “All the farmers of our village not only support their families but also provide employment to others by growing vegetables in their fields. Farmers are busy in their vegetable fields throughout the year."

Vegetables are sent to Jammu, other places

Landowner Shaukat Ahmed said he was growing different types of vegetables and regularly sending them for sale to the winter capital of the union territory, Jammu, and other valley markets. He said that all the members of his family including women are busy in taking care of their vegetable fields throughout the year.

Shaukat said at least eight labourers, including non-locals and family members, are engaged in a particular field every year from March to November to grow different seasonal vegetables.

Vegetable gowers provide employment to others

The landowner said that apart from earning well for the family, the villagers also provide employment to others, including non-local labourers, who mostly come from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra.

He said that the vegetables of Bougam village are considered as quality vegetables and the farmers work day and night to grow them from natural resources without using chemical fertilizers.

Another vegetable grower said that the people of this village prefer to grow a variety of quality vegetables instead of planting apple orchards. He said, “I have been growing various types of vegetables on my land for the last 20 years and I am not only supporting my family but also giving work to many people to earn.”

He further added, “Through this work of growing vegetables, I provide the best education to my children and also fulfill their other needs.”

Children don't need to search employment

He said that children do not need search employment, just work hard in agriculture field, grow different types of vegetables, no one will feel the need of government job and even others will get good paid work.

He said that the vegetables being grown in Bougam village are naturally good in taste and superior in quality in every way. Seeing the prosperous and flourishing business of the people of Bougam village, the nearby villagers have also converted their fields into vegetable gardens.

He said that apart from studies, the educated youth of the village are also helping their families in growing vegetables. If the government helps us, the sector will be more stable, which can help reduce unemployment in the Valley to a great extent, he added.

Mohammad Amin, a businessman told that the livelihood of many people is also connected with this business. He said that vegetables are the need of every household, whether it is a rich family or a poor one, so this sector is set to grow, this business can never decline.

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