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An Assessment

Agricultural Market Operations across the Lockdown in J&K

By providing empirical evidence, the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on the agricultural market operations of the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir is analysed. Mandi operations in terms of market arrivals have been found to be higher during the lockdown phases, and the market operations seem to have moved towards normal from Phase 1 to Phase 4 of the lockdown. The administration of Jammu and Kashmir showed a rapid response in the revival of mandi operations for the benefit of the farming communities as well as the consumers.

India is an agrarian economy, and most of the states and union territories also depend on agricultural operations for their income and employment, including the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). There has been a structural shift from the agricultural sector towards services and manufacturing sectors during the last two decades (Wani et al 2015). The share of agriculture in the state gross domestic product (GDP) has declined from 30.1% in 2000–01 to 16% in 2018–19, whereas the share of services and manufacturing sectors has significantly increased during 2000–18. Out of the GDP from the agriculture and allied sectors in J&K, the agriculture (crop) sector constitutes the major share of 49%, followed by livestock (32%), forestry and logging (17%), and fishery (2%). The GDP from agriculture in J&K has grown at an annual rate of 2.9% during 2000–09, which has increased to 3.6% annually during 2010–18. The agriculture sector has experienced a growth rate of 2.8% per annum during the last two decades.

J&K has 11,59,000 hectares of gross cropped area, with a cropping intensity of 154%, indicating ample opportunity to increase the area under cultivation by increasing the area under irrigation. The gross irrigated area was 4,49,000 hectares in 2000–01, which has increased to 5,19,000 hectares in 2018–19. The analysis indicates that the gross irrigated area as a percentage of the gross cropped area has increased from 40.3% in 2000–01 to 44.8% in 2018–19, which implies that 55.2% of the gross cropped area still
depends on rainfall for irrigation. The availability of diverse climatic zones in J&K provides ample opportunity for growing horticultural crops like saffron, which is unique for the region, along with a variety of high-value crops, such as basmati rice, apples, walnuts, cherries, pears, and almonds, which are produced in huge quantities.

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Updated On : 28th Oct, 2020

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