Hailstorm Aftermath|Fruit growers decry incurring huge losses

Hailstorm Aftermath|Fruit growers decry incurring huge losses
GK Photo

Srinagar, May 26: Fruit growers in Kashmir are facing enormous losses as a result of the hail and windstorms that devastated crops in several fruit-growing areas of Kashmir.

Fruit farmers have requested the J&K government to include the horticulture and agricultural sectors in the Crop Insurance Scheme. The fruit producers voiced concern over losses and hoped that the government would offer financial aid to help them recover from losses.

“On the afternoon of Thursday, North Kashmir experienced a heavy hailstorm. Especially in Baramulla, Rafiabad, Sopore, Pattan, Wagora, Tangmarg, Uri, and many areas of Kupwara, fruits and vegetable gardens have been damaged due to heavy hailstorm,” said Bashir Ahmad Basheer, Chairman Kashmir Valley Fruit Growers Cum Dealers Union.

According to Basheer, heavy hailstorms also caused significant damage to fruit crops in the districts of Shopian, Pulwama, Kulgam, Anantnag, and Budgam. This time, the hailstorm was so intense that it completely covered the ground. According to reports, orchards of fruits like apples, pears, apricots, and cherries, among others, have suffered severe damage and tree crowns have fallen to the ground, causing fear among orchard owners and others involved in the industry, he said, noting that the fruit industry is the foundation of Kashmir's economy. harm to this industry is therefore comparable to harm to Jammu and Kashmir's economy.

“It is currently impossible to estimate the immediate damage. However, according to initial reports, there are heavy losses in walnut and fruit orchards and the Fruit Growers of the Valley are very worried at the moment."

A spokesperson of Kashmir Valley Fruit Growers Cum Dealers Union said “This year it also rained untimely. Due to this, there is a possibility of scab in the orchards and it has a great effect in the orchards of many areas.”

An aid package, he said, should be announced for fruit and vegetable crops affected by heavy hailstorms. It is hoped that the Government will immediately consider their legitimate demand to protect the Sectors from further damage.

“In this regard, the Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir (UT) is requested to kindly issue orders for implementation of the Crop Insurance Scheme. It is hoped that the Government will immediately consider our legitimate demand and take practical steps to protect Horticulture from further losses,” he added.

Although the Kashmir Valley Fruit Growers Cum Dealers Union, which represents all Fruit Growers Associations of the Valley, has been making a polite appeal to the government for many years to bring the Horticulture sector of Kashmir under the Crop Insurance Scheme. An appeal was made to implement this scheme immediately. Although the government had made announcements in this regard, unfortunately, the Crop Insurance Scheme has not yet been implemented in Kashmir.

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