CPI (M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami on Thursday urged Jammu and Kashmir administration to take immediate steps for the revival of the horticulture sector in the region.
In a communication to the Lieutenant Governor’s Advisor K K Sharma and Horticulture Department Principal Secretary Navin Kumar Choudhary, the CPI(M) leader brought to the attention the pressing problems faced by fruit growers and traders to the government.
“Despite the last three decades of uncertainty, the horticulture industry in Jammu and Kashmir which is considered as the backbone of the region’s economy was flourishing till recently. However, the decline started from November 2018, when the apple crop and trees received damage due to unseasonal snowfall,” he said.
Tarigami said the fruit industry in Kashmir faced economic consequences due to the lockdown imposed after the Centre abrogated Article 370 last August.
“As if it was not enough, another unseasonal snowfall on November 7 last year followed by COVID-19 lockdown in March this year wreaked havoc on the fruit industry in Kashmir,” he said in a letter. The communist leader said the spread of scab this season in orchards due to the spray of fake and substandard pesticides and fungicides has broken the back of the fruit industry in Kashmir.
“This happened due to the wrong advice given to the farmers by the concerned government departments about the spray of anti-scab sprays. The agencies who approved these sprays must be made liable to pay compensation to the growers, who have suffered huge losses,” he added. Tarigami said the J&K administration must not only ensure smooth flow of fruit laden trucks along the Srinagar-Jammu national highway this time but also control the transportation charges. “In the name of relief and compensation, the government has played a prank with the growers so far,” he alleged.