ZT News Network

Jammu: J&K Kisan Tehreek demanded one-time waiver of KCC and other agricultural loans to small farmers and orchardists, whose harvest was damaged due to the heavy snowfall in November this year.

The 2-day meeting which concluded was presided over by J&K Kisan Tehreek State President Kishore Kumar where the participants expressed concern over various problems being faced by the farmers.

While addressing the meeting, Ghulam Nabi Malik General Secretary said that the announced scale of relief for damage to apple crop is insufficient given the quantum of destruction caused due to the heavy and unexpected snowfall.

“Besides, the huge damage to the present crop, the untimely snowfall caused massive damage to fruit trees. A tree which got damaged is a recurring loss for the farmer for years to come. The Government should provide adequate compensation to the affected farmers, orchardist,” he said.

While demanding one-time waiver of KCC and other agricultural loans to the small farmers and fruit growers whose harvest was damaged by the snowfall, Malik called for fully implementation of Crop Insurance Scheme (CIS) in the state. Though the announcement of crop insurance scheme was made by the government, it is unfortunate that the said scheme yet to be implemented in Kashmir valley. The state being vulnerable to natural calamities, implementation of crop insurance scheme can provide respite to the calamity affected kisans and orchardists.

Criticizing the Government for paying a meagre amount as compensation to the farmers for their land acquired by the Government for ring roads in Budgam-Srinagar, Jammu and other developmental projects, Malik urged the authorities to pay the adequate compensation to those whose land has been or is to be acquired. Land holding is the only sources of income for farmers. The compensation is being provided as per Land Acquisition Act 1934. Since Parliament has passed Land Acquisition Act in 2013, the compensation must be provided as per the said Act. In most of the cases, the Government pays one fourth of the actual cost of the land to the farmers which is sheer injustice with poor peasants.

Kishore Kumar State President while addressing the meeting said that the Basmati and Mushke Budji crops are produced by the kisans but due to lack of marketing facility, they are compelled to sell their produce at least price. He demanded minimum support price as per the recommendations of M.S Swaminathan commission. He also urged the government to provide property rights to kisans who are cultivating State land since decades.

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