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news details
Orchardists demand implementation of insurance scheme
Hailstorm hits apple crop in Kulgam
5/1/2019 10:58:44 PM
Saahil Suhail
Early Times Report
Kulgam, May 1: Heavy and untimely hailstorm damaged apple and other standing crops in at least nine villages of South Kashmir's Kulgam district which were expecting good crop this year.
Reports said that heavy hailstorm hit Manzgam, K B Pora, Mirwani, Gandwani, Nihama, Harwath, Jaibal and Hallan Tangmarg and some others areas of Noorabad like Areha, Nillaw and Batpora this evening and inflicted heavy damage on standing crops particularly to apple fruit.
They said that hailstorm continued for at least 20 minutes in the above mentioned villages and people mostly women were spotted wailing near their orchards and residential houses.
Reports said that untimely hailstorm has dashed the hopes of orchardists who were hoping good production this year. "Heavy Hailstorm hit our orchards. We have lost everything," Muzzafer Ahmad, a local resident of K B Pora village informed over phone.
Many residents shared videos and photographs on social media sites and demanded compensation from the government.
Hailstorm has also damaged apple crop in few villages of Kokernag in South Kashmir's Anantnag district. Orchardists of South Kashmir requested Governor Satya Pal Malik to implement Restructured Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme (WBCIS).
Director Horticulture Aijaz Ahmad told Early Times that he has directed Chief Horticulture Officer to submit initial reports regarding the damage and access the damage. "Tomorrow I am also going to visit the hailstorm affected area of Kulgam district," he said, adding orchardists will be provided necessary assistance in due time.
Important to mention here, the Jammu and Kashmir Government had failed to implement WBCIS despite state Cabinet's nod.
The Cabinet meeting chaired by then Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti in March 2018 had accorded in principle sanction to the adoption of the WBCIS in respect of horticulture crops namely apple, saffron, mango and litchi for the Jammu and Kashmir in addition to "Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana" (PMFB) as per the operational guidelines of the scheme circulated by the department of agriculture, cooperation and farmers welfare, Government of India w.e.f Kharif 2016 but the authorities have failed to implement it in Kashmir due to which each year farmers have to incur huge losses.
Director Horticulture Aijaz Ahmad said that the insurance companies roped in for the program are demanding inflated premiums that aren't affordable. "We are on it and we are trying to adopt the insurance scheme on pilot project mechanism," he added.
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