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Srinagar, June 12 (UNI) Jammu and Kashmir government will provide immediate relief to farmers whose vegetable and fruit crops have been damaged due to recent hailstorm and rains.

Meanwhile, concerned over the damage to crops almost every year due to hailstorm and floods, Agriculture Minister, Abdul Aziz Zargar has recommended to introduce crops insurance in the State.

An official spokesman said here today that a high-level meeting was convened to review the damage caused to crops and fruits by the recent hailstorm and rains.

He said the Minister felt that unprecedented rains and hailstorm are causing severe damage every year in the state and has enervated the economy of the farmers of the state as major portion of its population is associated with agriculture and horticulture sectors.

He asked the officers of Agriculture and Horticulture Departments to come up with a long-term and concreted plans so that the economy of the farmers is saved.

He said the farmers whose crops damaged up to 90 per cent should be provided immediate relief to minimise their problems.

The minister recommended for introduction of a crop insurance scheme in the State so that the farmers could get some sort of relief in the event of any catastrophe.

Reiterating it, Horticulture minister Mohammad Dilawar Mir also underlined the need to evolve such a mechanism so that the affected farmers could get immediate relief during catastrophe.

He asked the officers of Agriculture and Horticulture to conduct a joint survey with the officers of Revenue Department to the affected villages and submit the same to the government within seven days so that relief to the affected farmers could be provided early.

The minister said the need is not only to give relief to the affected farmers, but also waiving of their loans, which they had borrowed for purchasing inputs.

He asked the Principal Secretary Agriculture to prepare a memo in this regard for the consideration of state cabinet.

UNI BAS SG NS1626

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