Agriculture

District Poonch is at a distance of 240 km from winter capital Jammu & 184 km from Summer capital Srinagar . It is located on southern slopes of Pir panjal & situated between 330 25’ to 340 01’ North Latitudes & 730 58’ to 740 35’ East Longitudes . The district Poonch came into existence in year 1967 and situated at a height of 3300 ft .It is bounded on the North by Baramulla and Budgam District of Kashmir valley on its west & North Wests lies (POK). The District having a population of 4.76 lakh(2011 census) consists of 6 tehsils 11 Blocks & 173 villages spreading over an area of 1674 sq. km with geographical area of 1.14 lac(Ha) . Most of the Areas in this District is rainfed as only 11.90% of the area is having a ssured Irrigation . The climate of the District varies from Sub tropical to temperate, strong moonsoon currents are also experienced in the District. The average rainfall in the District is about 1200-1400 mm with 56-73 average rainy days. The temperature of the district ranges between 50c to 250c during winter & 300c to 390c during summer. The altitude varies from 1007 m to 4700 m above the sea level. The area under Poonch Mendhar tehsils largely fall under Sub tropical region and Surankote & Mandi Tehsils are fully temperate with most of the area under snow in winter. Peoples have small pieces of land for cultivation. The average land holding is 0.24(ha). Out of total 1 .14 lac(ha) land & 30390 ha area is cultivable during Kharif 22100 during Rabi . Maize is the staple food of the people cultivated over an area of 24000 ha with a highest yields of 60-65 qtls/ha & surplus production of Maize is about 5265 metric tones which is mostly exported outside the district for manufacturing of cattle field. Paddy cultivation is done over an area of 3620 ha during Kharif season whereas Wheat Crop is cultivated over an area of 15000/ha. Overall cropping intensity of the district is about 166%. Poonch District having a lot of potential to boost the production of cereals crops especially Maize,Wheat, Vegetables by laying emphasis on the intensification and diversification to increase the production and productivity. The Productivity of major food grain crops have registered significant increase over the years. The main Agriculture specialty of the District are : Rajmash, Chilies, Garlic and Potato. Apiculture and Mushroom has emerged as an important sectors for diversification & employment generation. Area Specific Farm Mechanization Diesel Hall, Motorized Chaff Cutter, Maize Sheller, Irrigation Pump Sets, Deep Bore wells has been introduced in the District for increasing the efficiency & cost benefit ratio.

Strengths

  • The district has diverse agro-climatic conditions that favours cultivation of variety of crops .
  • Soils are fit for intensive cultivation.
  • Availability of potential markets.
  • Technical manpower is available in the district.
  • Receptive farmers are willing to adopt improved farm technologies.
  • Very high demand & assured market for vegetable & food crops.
  • Rajmash Garlic being cash crop so more & more area should be brought under their cultivation.
  • Development of promising maize varieties suited to different elevations of the region & liking of the people.

Weaknesses

  • Most of the area of Buffliaz like Chandimarh, Behramgala beside Mandi Sawjian is under mono cropping pattern.
  • In general, Farmers are mostly economically backward.
  • Cultivable waste land still occupies large area in the district.
  • Predominant small & scattered land holdings with a average size of 0.2 Ha
  • Undulated topography unsuitable for high farm mechanization, Water conservation & retention.

Opportunities

  • Immense scope for organic production of crops in the district
  • Opportunities prevail for profitable diversification of existing cropping pattern within crops and towards non – crop husbandry
  • Use of light weight power tillers in receptive areas of the district.

Threats

  • Frequent occurrence of calamities like hail storms, incessant torrential rains besides floods and moisture stress due to prolonged dry spells.
  • Increasing farmers inability to invest in agricultural production system
  • Increased incidence of insect – pest and disease complex.
  • Declining inability to invest in agricultural production system.
  • Shrinking Land holdings