Farmers and harvesters are working against time to reap 13 varieties of wheat sowed on 50 acres in the buffer zone between the three-tier fencing and the zero-line on the International Border in Jammu and Kashmir’s Chakrohi that was off limits till a year ago due to Pakistani shelling. The crops were sown after India and Pakistan agreed on a ceasefire in 2021.
Farm Manager Dr Rakesh Khanjuria told PTI, ”For the first time, wheat crops were grown on these farmlands. Harvesting is going on in full swing.” He added that 70 per cent of the farmland has been harvested.
The Agriculture department’s Seed Multiplication Farm is spread on nearly 1,000 acres on two sides of the border fencing in the Chakrohi-Jorafarm belt about 40 kilometres from Jammu.
The farm, one of the biggest seed multiplication farms in the Union Territory, is said to grow the best seeds of wheat, basmati, oil, fodder and vegetables. ”This is the first time in 25 years that fertile land lying ahead of the fencing up to the zero-line has been cultivated and the crops due to peace in the border belts,” Khanjuria said.
The Agriculture department and the Border Security Force are overseeing the farming activity.
”While wheat is being harvested on 815 acres on this side of the fencing, this is the first time in decades that the crop is being grown on over 50 acres,” he said.
Harvest from the 50 acres has already passed the 2,000-kilogramme mark, Khanjuria said.