900 veggie truckloads have been produced so far this year.
Historically, the hamlet of Bugam in the Budgam region of central Kashmir has produced so many vegetables that it has earned the nickname “Chhota Punjab.” This nickname was given on August 30.
Syed Mubashir, Chadoora’s Agriculture Extension Officer, told the Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that farming is an integral part of Bugam’s culture and has been for decades.
Vegetables such as potatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, radishes, and carrots have been grown in the area for generations. The rich soil is perfect for growing these products, so farmers can count on bumper harvests every year.
According to Mubashir, the 202 hectares of irrigated land in the hamlet are split between growing vegetables (on 174 hectares) and potatoes (on the remaining 36 hectares). He said that there are three harvests each year and that the output per acre is 840 quintal.
According to the officer, vegetable production in Bugam village brought in over Rs 26 crore in income last year and over Rs 15 crore so far this year. Approximately Rs 27 crore in veggies have been sent to markets so far this year.
Bugam hamlet is responsible for over 40% of the district’s vegetable output. Mubashir claims that thus far this year, 900 trucks’ worth of veggies, including more than 250 trucks’ worth of potatoes, have been sent to various sites throughout Kashmir, Jammu, Rajouri, and Delhi.
According to the city’s agricultural officer, Bugam has established itself as a veritable vegetable oasis, providing fresh food to markets in the surrounding area and beyond.
The extra vegetables grown in the hamlet are sold in nearby towns and cities, as well as across the state and beyond. In addition to helping the local economy, he noted that this commerce also increased awareness of Bugam and its significance to the agricultural economy of Kashmir.
According to Syed, the hamlet is vital to the economy of the surrounding area. Each farming family employs at least three to four workers for the daily job on agricultural land, and this includes men, women, locals, non-locals, and even highly educated youngsters. We have implemented hi-techs in the hamlet for increased productivity, therefore no farmer is accessible if we want to host any type of camp there,” he stated.
Young vegetable farmer Uzair Lone of Bugam told KNO that the town’s name is a symbol of the area’s long tradition of agricultural excellence. He said, “This village has earned the name ‘Chhota Punjab’ and this title pays homage to its remarkable contribution to the region’s vegetable supply.”
Uzair claims that no one in the region, not even those with advanced degrees, shies away from employment in agricultural areas because of the promise of excellent returns from vegetable cultivation.