Notwithstanding repeated violations of ceasefire by the Pakistani Rangers on the borders, farmers of the Kathua district, living near the International Border, have started sowing wheat beyond the fence to utilize the fertile land.
To encourage the farmers and to fear among them, Deputy Commissioner Kathua Rakesh Minhas has today kick-started wheat sowing across the Indo-Pak Border in the Hiranagar sector of Kathua district. SDM Hiranagar, Manisha Koul, and Chief Agriculture Officer Kathua Sanjeev Rai were also present.
Pakistan thrice violated ceasefire in one month
During the last month, Pakistan violated the ceasefire thrice on the International Border creating fear among border residents.
On November 5, a Head Constable of the BSF Lalfam Kima lost his life in the line of duty due to unprovoked firing by the Pakistan Ranger in the Ramgarh sector of Samba district of Jammu province.
On October 17, two BSF personnel were injured in unprovoked firing by the Pakistan Rangers in the Arnia sector of Jammu district. Pakistan again resorted to unprovoked firing on October 27 targeting civilian areas.
A couple of houses were badly damaged after being hit by shells fired from the border but there was no loss of life in the firing.
Two BSF jawans namely Basavraj SR, 30, hailing from Karnataka, and Sher Singh were injured in the Arnia sector. The injured woman was identified as Rajni Bala, 38, wife of Balbir Singh, resident of Ward 5, Arnia.
Authorities encouraging farmers to cultivate land along the IB
After inaugurating the new crop season, Deputy Commissioner Kathua said, "We are encouraging farmers of the border belt to bring more vacant land under cultivation along the Indo-Pak International Border (IB). The farmers are also being motivated for integrated farming, using the latest machinery to reduce the cost of farming to enhance income in agriculture production".
He further said that the District Administration, Border Security Force, and Department of Agriculture Kathua are working in coordination with farmers to facilitate safe and secure cultivation of the Rabi and Kharif crops across the fence.
While interacting with local farmers the DC said the District Administration is keen to bring entire fellow land under cultivation for which farmers of the border belt are being given extended support through agriculture and allied departments.
Wheat to be sown on 300 acres of land along IB
On the occasion, Chief Agriculture Officer Kathua Sanjeev Rai Gupta informed that for the current fiscal the Department of Agriculture, Kathua has set a target of wheat sowing on 300 acres of land during Rabi 2023-24 across the fence.
He said that about 200 acres of land across the fence were sown today in which 67 farmers from villages of Chack Changa, Karol Krishna, Karol Maithrian, and Chann Tanda participated".
To facilitate effective sowing across the fence, the Department of Agriculture has also provided machines such as tractors, and cultivators to farmers actually involved in border sowing and a team of officers/ officials from the department are also technically facilitating the farmers in every aspect, he added.
The CAO further disclosed that "We are encouraging farmers to use mechanized methods for effective sowing of wheat crop by using super seeder, a highly mechanized machine which can perform multi-functions such as plowing, sowing, and planking of the field simultaneously, a revolutionary step, thereby saving input cost and time taken in comparison to old traditional methods."