JKAP demands packing, grading, transportation for stored fruit in J&K
Jammu Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) leader Mohammad Dilawar Mir has urged the UT government of J&K to include production, supply and distribution of fertilizers and agrochemicals in the list of essential commodities and services notified by the government for farmers, fruit growers and orchardists of Jammu and Kashmir.
In a statement issued here, Mir observed that while government has put necessary restrictions on public movement and other services in view of the situation arising due to COVID-19, the farming community and fruit growers in Jammu and Kashmir are suffering for want of fertilizers and agro chemicals which are direly needed in this season.
“The government should keep in view that the summer crop is not only a key crop cycle for farmers but is equally important for the growth of Jammu and Kashmir’s economy which largely depends on the agricultural sector,” the JKAP leader remarked, adding that the government must notify and include the transportation of fertilizers and agro chemicals in its essential services and commodities lists.
Mir said that due to non availability of fertilizer and seeds, the farmers in J&K would lose crops and the overall crop production would be drastically impacted. “The use of fertilizers and oil and agro chemical spray in orchards is a time bound process to cope up with the apple scab which is already a declared epidemic in the world. If these essential commodities are not made available to the farmers and orchardists at this point of time the same cannot be compensated by any means in an off season,” he added.
Similarly, he said that it is unfortunate that the neighbouring state Punjab has already listed the production, supply and distribution of fertilizers and agro chemicals in its notified lists of essential commodities and services post COVID-19 advisories, the J&K government has ignored this important sector of season bound economy.
“The government cannot wish away the seasonal demand for agro chemicals and fertilizers which constitute an essential requirement of farmers and fruit growers in this season. The applicability of agro chemicals is imperative to keep the orchards safe from devastating diseases and in case these chemicals are supplied to the farming community, the same can have disastrous consequences for them,” Mir added.
He urged the government to provide packing, grading and priority transportation facilities to the farmers and fruit growers so that the fruit stored in orchards and cold stores in Jammu and Kashmir is not allowed to rot due to the prevailing lockdown.