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‘GI tag to Mushkbudji will transform farmers of Sagam into entrepreneurs’

09:36 AM Aug 11, 2023 IST | KHALID GUL
‘gi tag to mushkbudji will transform farmers of sagam into entrepreneurs’

Anantnag, Aug 11: Director Agriculture Chaudhary Muhamad Iqbal on Friday said Geographical Indication (GI) Tag to the Mushkbudji aromatic rice will transform the farmers in Sagam village of Kokernag into entrepreneurs.


“I can say with authority that the future of the farmers associated with this scented variety of rice is as bright as the sun,” said Iqbal.


He visited Sagam and congratulated the farmers for the rare achievement.


“It will boost the production of the niche crop thus increasing the employability. All those associated with the trade from growers to buyers to sellers to consumers will benefit,” Iqbal said.


He said that even the tourism sector will reap dividends.


Around 2000 farmers are cultivating the aromatic rice in Tangpawa –Sagam village of Anantnag alone on approximately 5000 Kanals of land.


Iqbal, however, said that in the coming years, it will reach 1000 hectares.


“We are also trying to expand its growth in other parts of the valley,” he said.

As of now only the unique climate and cold water of Tangpawa-Sagam is ideal for its cultivation.

In 2007, the government announced a revival program of the Mushkbudji rice variety in Sagam village of Kokernag.

This precious and aromatic variety had fallen out of cultivation in the 1970s due to blast disease.

 But with support from the agriculture department and SKAUST (K), the stage was set for resurgence.

Drawn by its unique qualities and the prospect of higher revenues, more and more farmers started cultivating this fragrant variety on their lands.

Director Agriculture praised the farmers in general Sagam Farmers Producers Organisation (FPO) with around 500 farmers in particular, NABARD  and Human Welfare Foundation Anantnag, a non-profit organization in the success of the project.

“Mushkbudji was our special project in our Holistic Agriculture program and a major initiative in doubling the income of farmers as envisaged by the Prime Minister,” he said.

Chief Horticulture Officer Anantnag, Ajaz Hussein Dar assured of every possible support to the farmers.

Human Welfare Foundation Chairman, Shabir Baba instrumental in framing the project said that mobilizing the farmers and training them was a challenge which they accomplished successfully.

The farmers also appreciated the efforts of the agriculture department, marketing and planning departments, NABARD and Human Welfare Foundation in the success of the project.