Demand loss reevaluation of damaged crops
Kashmir Valley Fruit Grower Cum Dealers Union has termed the compensation of Rs 900 per kanal announced by the government for their damaged crop due to heavy snowfall as a ‘unjust and shameful’.
In a statement, Chairman KVFGDU Bashir Ahmad Basheer said horticulture sector in the Valley suffered losses to the tune of Rs 75000 crores on account of untimely heavy snowfall in November 2019 coupled with frequent closure of Srinagar – Jammu highway.
The fruit growers said 70 percent to 90 percent trees carrying un-plucked crop collapsed and broke and uprooted 40 to 60 percent of crop producing fruit trees due to the unseasonal heavy snowfall.
“There is immense need for fresh plantation of fruit trees in such orchards which will take 10 to 15 years to yield and produce new crop. The emerged loss can’t be restricted to one year but the fruit growers, dealers have to bear this loss for 15 years till newly planted trees yield fruit.”
Basheer said the fruit industry is considered backbone of the Valley economy “but un-conducive climatic conditions and the annoying atmosphere of this season had destroyed all the expectations and aspirations of fruit Industry resulting huge losses and growers lost their livelihood.”
“The Valley fruit industry is on the verge of collapsing and people related to this Industry are facing acute hardships to earn their livelihood.”
He further said fruit growers, dealers had taken financial loans ‘to continue or start their fruit business with this hope that after completion of the season they shall be able to refund their loan to concerned Banks.
“The Valley based fruit dealers and growers were expecting a handsome package as compensation on the assurance being given time and again by Lt. Governor’s Administration but ultimately package announced as compensation proved discreditable. Announcement of Rs 900 compensation per kannal against huge losses of Rs 75.000 corers is surely a joke.”
The union has rejected the package.
“It seems Lt Governor Administration is least concerned about the losses and deteriorating situation of the Valley based horticulture sector and thousands of people associated with the business directly or indirectly,” the dealers said.