Srinagar, November 4: Calling for a comprehensive compensation for farmers and orchardists who suffered extensive damages due to early snowfall, CPI (M) leader and MLA Kulgam Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami Sunday urged the government to go for immediate assessment of damages to horticulture sector.
The early snowfall this season has wreaked havoc on orchards in Kashmir, especially in southern districts, and has caused huge losses to the growers. Reportedly 20 to 30 percent of the apple harvest is yet to be plucked from plants or is lying in the orchards waiting for packaging. According to the estimates put up by the fruit growers, heavy snowfall has put in peril estimated Rs 1000 crore worth fruits across Kashmir.
The government must depute teams to assess the losses in the affected areas so that they are compensated forthwith. SKUAST experts should be sent to the affected areas, who could suggest the people how to retrieve the damaged apple trees and advise the orchardists and farmers on measures to be taken to save the remaining crop.
It becomes an obligation for the government to come to the support and succor of the farmers and orchardists as they form the backbone of the state’s economy and have always been suffering on account weather vagaries.
In coming days Government must also come up with details on steps taken to waive off the interest on the horticultural loans in view of the damages caused due to heavy snowfall. Reiterating his call for introduction and implementation of Crop Insurance Scheme (CIS) in Jammu and Kashmir, he said, the scheme will save the fruit growers and agriculturists in the event of losses suffered due to natural calamities.
Farmers, fruit growers and sheep rearing community, who have to bear the nature’s fury time and again, look forward for the government support. But unfortunately the farming community and fruit growers have always been taken for a ride by the successive governments.