Govt has failed to address farmers, orchardists distress: NC

SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir National Conference on Thursday expressed concern over the widespread damage to standing crops in south Kashmir areas following massive hailstorm and gusty winds saying the government has failed to provide relief to farmers.

Party Spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar while expressing concern over the plight of orchardists and farmers in wake of the damage incurred to their standing crops following a massive hailstorm in South Kashmir areas said, “The government’s approach towards protecting vital interests of workforce associated with agriculture and other allied activities have been dismal. Previous year’s restrictions and the prevailing COVID19 induced lockdown have affected farmers in countless ways. Likewise, damage caused by vagaries of weather since the onset of summer this year has also the crippled the hopes of farmers and orchardists. Regrettably, the government has left them high and dry to fend for themselves.”

“The other day heavy hail in Homshalibugh, Shopian, Dialgam, Kulgam, Damhal Hanjipura, Yaripora areas played havoc with the standing crops. The farmers have little hope of getting timely recompense for their losses. Caught in a quandary, the orchardists and paddy growers are not able to come to terms with the immensity of losses. People have spent all their saving on the procurement of fertilizers and oils for this year’s crop hoping for a good yield to run their household chores.  However, the disappointing outcome has destroyed their dreams, leaving them to cash strapped and ineligible for bank credit for the next season. Weighed down by bank loans, the farmers are not in a position to carry out agriculture practice in the ensuing year. They had set their eyes on this year’s produce to pay for the loans due to bank and manage their households,” Imran said.

“The government in its capacity has so far failed to provide insurance and financial support to farmers in the events of crop failure, and destruction due to severe weather conditions in previous months. Affected farmers have set their eyes on the government to help them recover losses through a Crop insurance scheme. The scheme envisages a uniform premium to farmers in wake of failure or destruction of crops due to vagaries of weather. So far nothing has been done. The revenue teams are yet to access previous losses incurred by them, not to speak of the recent ones. It is the agriculture which propels the economy of Kashmir, engages a huge workforce in one or other way. Government’s failure to mitigate their woes speaks volumes,” he added.

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