In Ladakh, Sham region and Arayan Valley are the two areas famous for exotic horticultural products as well as agricultural produce like buckwheat among other cereals. Warm weather followed by introduction of new agricultural innovations by agricultural scientists and awareness through media like All India Radio and Doordarshan have given impetus to agriculture sector. As All India Radio Leh is celebrating 50 years in June this year, AIR correspondent filed a special story from Sham region.
Ully Takpo is a small hamlet situated on the Leh Srinagar National highway and one in the bucket list to visit among the tourists to spend wonderful vacations. Apart from tourism services, focus of many villagers of Ulle Tokpo is on integrated farming. Ully Tokpo village is 72 km away from Leh town. Villagers have their ancestral traditional farming and horticulture into cash crops , which is sustainable and diverse.
All India Radio, Leh has been important part in their transformation from traditional farming to integrated farming. A villager Konchok Zangmo says, she never missed to tune Radio to learn new ideas and methods in agricultural practices from the talk shows with experts, agriculture scientists and other progressive farmers broadcasted by the All India Radio in native Ladakhi language. After learning skills in producing value added products through processing like Juice and Jam from Apricot and Seabruckthron and Wine from apples, Zangmo says she has started new cash crop- Watermelon to create additional income from this season.
Cultivation of Water Melon with the support of mulching technology has been introduced as one of the new cash crop in recent years by the government. Agriculture department using media like All India Radio and Doordarshan, field visits and incentives like subsidized Polyethylene has been propagating on water melon cultivation.