Organic Basmati in Jammu and Kashmir

Organic Basmati production in Jammu and Kashmir started a few years back in Jammu region with the Department of Agriculture had started growing Basmati organically on 200 hectares in villages around Suchetgarh in the RS Pura sector, about 35 kilometers west of Jammu. A study by Dr. Rakesh Nanda and others in 2013 from Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Jammu also revealed that there were over 5,000 farm families growing basmati rice organically in 157 villages of Jammu, Samba, and Kathua districts of Jammu division of J&K on 4,900 ha of land.

The average size of these farms is 2-4 ha; the average area under basmati rice is 1-2 ha per farm. Since then the area and no. of farm families going for organic basmati production has surely risen. Although the yield decreases initially for few years, but it is compensated with the higher returns that organic Basmati fetches in the market. The fertile land in and around irrigated belt of Jammu region can be explored for production of organic Basmati rice. Through development of proper linkages the markets can be created for organic basmati growers where they can sell their produce. The higher returns from the produce will definitely motivate them to bring more and more area under organic basmati.