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The Indian Army has distributed high-yielding hybrid seeds to farmers in the Kashmir region. Locals are trying to recover from last year's devastating floods, and the seeds are meant to help them improve their crop and raise their income.
The Ladakh region of India's northern state of Jammu and Kashmir was devastated by flash floods in August last year. Now, almost seven months later, the army is back in town, distributing seeds to villagers.
Around 1500 villagers from various parts of Ladakh were given vegetable seeds, like cabbage and onion, brought from Jammu by the Army's III Division.
The seeds are high-yielding hybrids, chosen specifically for this region. They're being distributed as part of the defense force's Rural Community Development Programme, which aims to strengthen the relationship between locals and the defense force.
[Brigadier Ajay Kumar, III Division]:
"...We got this request from the villagers that they do not have good quality seeds, so the crop grown here is not good. Looking at this condition, we studied it and then we brought these special hybrid seeds from Jammu. And we hope that this will benefit all the villagers and hope that their production will increase and they will prosper."
Thinley Dawa, Sub-Divisional Agriculture Officer, said that giving out these seeds would result in increased production and improve the villagers' income.
[Thinley Dawa, Sub-Divisional Agriculture Officer]:
"..By distributing these seeds, people will get double the income from normal seeds. The quality of the crops will be better, and they will be marketable."
The hybrid seeds will also mean lower expenses for pesticides and fertilizers.