Jammu & Kashmir flower bloom fades away in lockdown

IANS|
The harvest season
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The harvest season

It is the peak marigold flower harvesting season in J&K, but instead of taking the yield of the cash crop to Jammu markets, farmers are wasting it by throwing it into canals.

Turning to flower cultivation
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Turning to flower cultivation

Many farmers with small landholdings at R.S. Pura near Indo-Pak border in Jammu had turned to flower cultivation to reap more benefits rather than following the traditional wheat-paddy cycle, but a lockdown in the wake of coronavirus has resulted in losses for them. "Some farmers took to marigold cultivation lately, but due to the lockdown has resulted in farmers wasting the rich flower yield," said Rohit a farmer at RS Pura. "All the mandis and markets have closed so we can't sell our flowers and are facing daily losses."

Blooming almond orchards
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Blooming almond orchards

Blooming almond orchards as spring arrives at Badamwari in Srinagar.

Diversification is important
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Diversification is important

RS Pura is said to be the rice bowl of Jammu and Kashmir and is famous for basmati rice, but farmers who diversified for more gains are in a fix now.

Supporting the lockdown
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Supporting the lockdown

The farmers are now pinning hopes on the government to announce a farmer specific package to help them tide over the crisis. "Farmers have supported the lockdown call given by the government, but it is the duty of the government to think about farmers and to ensure that they don't lose their livelihood," said Jasbeer Chowdhury, a farmer. Farmers say they need help even as the lockdown period has been extended.

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