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PDP pitches for complete loan waiver for affected fruit growers

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Calamity funds to assist farmers affected by crop losses needed: Veeri

Srinagar, Nov 6: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Tuesday demanded loan waiver for the fruit growers in Kashmir, stating that the orchardists have suffered irreparable losses due to recent unseasonal snowfall and drastic change in weather pattern.

In a statement issued here, PDP Vice President Abdul Rahman Veeri stated that the damage caused to Kashmir’s orchardists due to recent snowfall is dreadful and is set to prove calamitous to Kashmir’s fruit industry for atleast next decade.

Demanding complete loan waiver on all agricultural loans including KCC from the government, Veeri said the issue merits government’s immediate concern and substantial action on ground.

Veeri added that  as Jammu and Kashmir is an agricultural state and 80 percent of population is dependent on this sector, government must focus its attention towards it and take measures needed to combat the recent looses that are estimated to be more than a whooping Rs 1000 crore.

The PDP Vice President stated that besides waiving off KCC loans, implementation of recommendations of National Commission for Farmers/Crop insurance scheme, there is a need for the restoration of subsidies, expansion of public procurement system and creation of calamity funds to assist farmers affected by crop losses.

Veeri said the horticulture industry provides livelihoods to 30 percent of and Kashmir’s 12 million population and if the government turns blind eye towards the hardships being faced by the growers, the farm losses would hit the state hard in future.

He urged upon the Governor administration to issue orders for the waiving off  of the loans to the affected growers so that they could heave a sigh of relief from miserable conditions they are living in at present.

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