Majid Kapra

Early snowfall declared natural calamity, govt to compensate farmers for losses: LG

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Says agriculture sector will add 10% to UTs GDP by next 3 years

Srinagar: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha Thursday said the early snowfall which led to the immense losses to the agricultural sector recently has been declared as ‘natural calamity’ and the government would extend all possible assistance to the affected farmers after proper assessment.

“We have declared the recent untimely snowfall as natural calamity; since the assessment of losses is being done, we will extend all possible assistance to the affected farmers whose crops were damaged due to the catastrophe,” LG told the media on the sidelines of a two-day apple festival at SKICC here.

“Recent untimely rain, hailstorm, and snow have been declared, a natural calamity & UT-specific disaster. Govt will provide relief to all the farmers, who have suffered damages,” office of J&K LG also tweeted.

LG also said the contribution of agriculture and allied sectors will add to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the Union Territory by 10 percent in next three years as the prices of Kashmiri produce have increased with the increase in production.

He said the government has announced various schemes for agriculture, horticulture and other allied sectors with farmers working as per the target set by the concerned ministry.

Together with the Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, LG Sinha virtually inaugurated an apple festival organised in Srinagar.

Speaking at the event, Sinha said it was the responsibility of the Jammu and Kashmir government to protect the land of the farmers in the Union Territory and the legal provision in this regard was in the interest of the cultivators.

The LG said the central and UT governments were working together for the upliftment of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, with most of them being dependent on agriculture.

Sinha informed that various schemes have been implemented to double the income of farmers. He also requested the scientists to bring the benefit of their research from the lab to the land.

The Agriculture minister highlighted that the central government was working with full force for the development of agriculture and allied sectors in the country and to increase the income of farmers.

Tomar appreciated the Jammu and Kashmir government for doing speedy work for the development of agriculture in the Union Territory with help of funds provided under various central schemes.

The festival will provide a better platform to apple growers and other stakeholders, he said.

The apple festival under the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ will prove to be a milestone in increasing the income of the farmers.

With an annual production of more than 2.2 million tonnes, apples from Jammu and Kashmir account for 87 percent of the national production and are linked to the livelihood of about 30 percent of the population of the UT, an official handout said.

Tomar also expressed satisfaction over high-density plantation being done in 2,300-hectare area under a special scheme in the UT.

Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Kailash Choudhary said the agriculture budget of the Centre has increased to Rs 1.23 lakh crore from Rs 22,000 crore before the Modi government came to power.

Farmers are benefiting from measures like procurement on MSP (Minimum Support Price), and Agriculture Infrastructure Fund of Rs 1 lakh crore, he added.

During the event, cheques and certificates related to various schemes were given to the farmers. A booklet on horticulture was also released.

Local public representatives, apple growers, farmers, entrepreneurs, agricultural scientists and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.

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