India’s Kashmir region, filled with mutton-lovers, has faced a sharp drop in meat supply since COVID-19 lockdown measures led to a halt in imports. Thankfully, their locally produced vegetables have been keeping the community afloat, and its farmers thriving.
Vegetable farming in Kashmir has significantly increased over the past 15 years, following the implementation of new seeds and climate-smart growing methods – and this rise is now proving more valuable than ever.
“Kashmir valley has the unique distinction of … being able to make vegetables available to the rest of the country at a time when the whole country is in need of (more) vegetables,” says Kashmir’s Director for Agriculture Altaf Andrabi.
The uptick in demand for vegetables amid the coronavirus pandemic has been especially beneficial to farmers. “I used to throw out some vegetables the next day as I would not find buyers for all my stock,” says vegetable seller Mohammad Yousuf, who now sells out his produce within three hours. “I am seeing people buying vegetables like never before.”