Kashmir Chamber wants crop insurance


Following a recent snowfall that left thousands of the apple orchards damaged all over the valley, Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Monday sought the attention of government officials towards the in-principle approval for adopting the Restructured Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme (RWBCIS) for horticulture crops such as apple and saffron given by the then Cabinet in March, 2018.

A photograph by Javaid Naikoo showing the unharvested apple still on the trees in Shopian

The spokesman said that the declared objective of the in-principle approval was “to provide insurance coverage and financial support to farmers in the event of failure of any of the notified crops as a result of adverse weather incidences”.

He said that the preliminary assessment of KCC&I suggesting upwards of Rs. 500 Crores, to our Horticulture Industry, the KCCI wants to know the reasons for Kashmir, having a production of more than 80 percent of the total production of the Country, being the only place deprived of this safety cover.

A grower visiting his devastated apple orchard in south Kashmir. The November 3, 2018 snowfall has run riot with the apple orchards across Kashmir. KL Image: Shah Hilal

The KCC&I is happy to learn that the Crop Insurance Scheme is operational in Jammu province since Kharif 2017 but at the same time anguished that being more prone to the vagaries of nature, Kashmir stands ignored in this regard. We understand that the clock cannot be turned back but as the delay has cost our farmers and orchardists dearly and our horticulture sector stands in its own ruins.

Kashmir Chamber: the new team elected to office in September 2018- (LtoR) Nasir Hameed Khan, Sheikh Ashiq, Dr Abdul Majid Mir, Farooq Amin, Sheikh Gowhar Ali and Manzoor Ahmad Pakhtoon

The trade body in a statement has asked the advisors of the Governor of J&K, Khurshid Ganai, Vijay Kumar, Bharat Bhushan Vyas, and the Chief Secretary, Government of Jammu & Kashmir to answer the following questions.

The questions are, Identify the persons in the system who by their negligence, willful or otherwise, have delayed the implementation of the Restructured Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme (RWBCIS) in Kashmir?

Will the State own responsibility for the failure to provide this cover and how it will compensate this sector?

Despite the adverse weather forecast available more than three weeks ago, what steps were taken to protect the life and property of the population?

The spokesman added that Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry would expect His Excellency to now take effective measures to provide all possible support to our Horticulture Sector in these times of distress and pain.


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