PDP, CPI (M) seek relief for farmers affected by rain, hailstorm

SRINAGAR: Opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Jammu and Kashmir unit of CPI (M) Wednesday expressed concern over the damage to standing crops in various parts of the state due to heavy rains and hailstorm and demanded immediate relief to the affected farmers.
“Heavy rains and hailstorm have damaged fruit orchards and other standing crops in many areas in Budgam, Pulwama and Shopian. The government should depute teams to assess the losses and provide immediate relief to the affected farmers,” PDP said in a statement here on Wednesday.
The state unit of CPI (M) said the farmers have suffered extensive damage to their crops and government must “come to their support and succor”.
“The farmers have suffered extensive damage to their paddy saplings and apple orchards due to weather vagaries and in such situation, the grower community looks forward for support and it becomes an obligation for the government to come to their support and succor,” state CPI (M) secretary, M Y Tarigami said in a statement.
Tarigami demanded the introduction and implementation of Crop Insurance Scheme (CIS) in the state to protect fruit growers and agriculturists in the event of losses suffered due to natural calamities.
“The Crop Insurance Scheme would not only have covered the crops affected by calamities, but also by various diseases by virtue of which the farmers in the state experience extensive financial damages every year,” he said.
The CPI (M) leader asked the government to come up with details on steps taken to waive off the interest on the agricultural and horticultural loans in view of the damages caused to these sectors due to heavy rains and hailstorm.
He also demanded that the government should provide details about steps taken to impose ban on the import and sale of sub-standard chemical fertilisers and pesticides which have proved very harmful to the fruit and crops.
Heavy rains and hailstorm lashed many parts of the Valley yesterday causing damage to various standing crops and fruit orchards.