by Bilal Bahadur
Gone are the days when Kashmir looked like a sprawling rice field. After the mass conversion of the paddy fields into the apple orchards, Kashmir’s rice bowls have squeezed enough. It is now being grown in very few areas thus adding to Kashmir’s food deficit.
Currently, the peasantry is busy planting rice saplings. It is a major exercise and people everywhere are too busy with this labour-intensive exercise.
Kashmir peasants remove the rice saplings from the nursery for transplantation in the main rice fields on the outskirts of Srinagar, on Sunday, June 13, 2021. Even in the fields the younger generation stay connected with their family and peers using earphones. KL Image: Bilal Bahadur
A Kashmiri farmer levelling his irrigated paddy field with bullocks before the transplanting of paddy saplings starts on the outskirts of Srinagar. KL Image: Bilal Bahdaur
Planting rice saplings has historically remained a joint, community exercise. However, after the mass conversion of the rice fields into apple orchards, the rice fields shrunken enough. Now families get labourers or get all members out to plant the saplings as is seen in this photograph clicked on the outskirts of Srinagar, on Sunday, June 13, 2021. KL Image: Bilal Bahadur
Females play key role in Kashmir agriculture. A female farmer taking the paddy saplings for plantation. KL Image: Bilal Bahadur
Women carry tea and snacks in baskets to a rice field for their family members planting rice saplings on the outskirts of Srinagar, on Sunday, June 13, 2021 KL Image: Bilal Bahadur
A woman walking through a paddy field when the farmers are busy in the trans-plantation of paddy.
This is nature’s artwork in the Kashmir periphery these days. The photograph taken on Sunday, June 13, 2021, shows the vast greenery as the different rice fields add a diversity of colour. KL Image: Bilal Bahadur
A health worker giving a vaccine shot to a man in a paddy field in Tangmarg in north Kashmir Saturday, June 5, 2021. Kashmir peasantry has not much time these days. They can also be seen in their fields. KL Image: Bilal Bahadur