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Growers demand rehab programme

By Our Correspondent
December 06, 2022

KARACHI: Sindh’s growers have expressed concerns regretting that both federal and provincial governments have not been able to chalk out a rehabilitation programme even after more than three months have passed to monsoon and floods, The News learnt on Monday.

A meeting of the Sindh Abadgar Board (SAB) held in Hyderabad noted that most of the summer crops and meagre assets of small farmers were destroyed. The sowing season for the winter crops was almost over, and there was a loss of more than 500,000 livestock, it added.

The meeting was presided over by Mahmood Nawaz Shah and was attended by Dr Zulfiqar Yousfani, Syed Zain Shah, Malook Nizamani, and growers of different districts. Sindh growers demanded that the loans of small and medium-sized farmers in the flood-affected areas should be written off completely, while new interest-free loans be given to the farmers in the affected areas so that the agricultural activity could be started.

The meeting emphasized that the ministry of livestock should ensure availability of vaccines and medicines in the affected areas to save the livestock. “There are large swathes of areas still inundated with flood water where even winter (Rabi) crop is not possible. Therefore, there is a need to de-water these areas,” demanded the meeting.

The cost of production has more than doubled, and the growers are not in a position to keep pace with that, therefore, the government should provide a 25 percent reduction in the prices of fertilisers. The government payments for Kharif and Rabi should be waived, it sought. The meeting noted that as the agricultural activity was just starting, farmers were being overcharged with Rs500 to Rs700 per bag over and above the already increased price of Urea.