Calling for a comprehensive compensation for farmers and orchardists who suffered extensive damages due to incessant rains, hailstorm and the cloudbursts, CPI (M) leader and MLA Kulgam Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami on Tuesday urged the state government to go for immediate assessment of damages to horticulture sector.
"The torrential rains and hailstorm caused massive damage to horticulture sector especially in south Kashmir where the farmers and orchardists have been hit the worst," said Tarigami.
He expressed grief and concern over the massive damages caused to households, fruits, standing crop and loss of life due to devastating cloudbursts and windstorms that struck across the valley particularly in Kokernag, Kullan Kangan, Pahalgam, Khrew, Duggar Pora Baramulla, Nandimarg and Sadew Shopian.
He called upon the government to depute teams to assess the losses in the affected villages so that they are compensated forthwith.
The CPI(M) leader urged the authorities to depute teams of experts in order to assess the damages and advise the orchardists and farmers on measures to be taken to save the remaining crop.
"Farmers and orchardists must be advised by the SKUAST experts on disease causing falling of leaves of fresh fruit trees, including apples," he said.
He said the growers have suffered extensive damage to their paddy saplings and apple orchards due to vagaries of weather and in such situation the growers look forward for the government support.
"It becomes an obligation for the government to come to the support and succour of the farmers and orchardists as they form the backbone of the state's economy and have always been suffering on account weather vagaries," he added.
He 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 fertilizers and pesticides; the use of which has proved very harmful to fruit and crops in the state. He said the scab has eaten into vitals of the horticulture sector and urgent steps are needed to tackle the menace.
Reiterating his call for introduction and implementation of Crop Insurance Scheme (CIS) in Jammu and Kashmir, Tarigami said, "The scheme will save the fruit growers and agriculturists in the event of losses suffered due to natural calamities."