Kathua- Farmers resumed agriculture activities on the zero line along the International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district on Friday, after a gap of almost two decades, officials said.
They said the farming activity was resumed with the help of the Border Security Force (BSF) and the civil administration.
The BSF pressed four bulletproof tractors into service and started ploughing the land to clear it of wild bushes and make it ready for the wheat crop, the officials said.
Thousands of acres of land near the border fencing, spread across 22 villages from Paharpur to Londi in Hiranagar sector, is lying unattended for the past 22 years due to frequent ceasefire violations by Pakistan, they said.
The officials said the natural growth of wild grass and bushes helped Pakistan to push infiltrators and dig underground tunnels, which posed a major security challenge.
The farmers of the neighbouring country are cultivating the land up to the zero line on their side but the farmers on this side stopped farming activity due to frequent firing from the Pakistani side, they said.
”The farming activities have resumed. This is third season of such activity. We want that farming should take place in these areas to increase agriculture economy,” Deputy Commissioner, Kathua, Rahul Pandey said.
”It will benefit farmers. It is a moment of happiness,” he added.
Director, Agriculture, K K Sharma said, ”The focus of agriculture activity is from Kathua to Poonch. It is our target to ensure the cultivation of the border land along the zero line.” BSF officials said the force is ready to provide all sorts of help to farmers in carrying out the cultivation of land on the zero line.