Srinagar, May 2 (GNS): Jammu and Kashmir National Conference Senior Leader, and Member of Parliament from Baramulla Muhammad Akbar Lone on Saturday expressed dismay over closure of Sub-sale centers of the Department of Agriculture at different locations in Kashmir division saying the measure will cause inconvenience to the farmers and affect the annual agriculture produce.
While expressing dismay over the impulsive measure of closing down the designated plant protection/ sub-sale centers/ seasonal seed outlets, Lone said, “These centers were established during the NC led government to ensure that farmers living in rural and other hilly areas get easy access to fertilizers, pesticides and other wide ranging commodities indispensable to agriculture and horticulture activity. The idea behind the measure was to ensure availability of all essential agricultural prerequisites to farmers, who previously had to travel to nearest towns or Srinagar city to buy seeds, pesticides and other wide ranging commodities. Such multipurpose centers in the rural areas used to help the farmers in cutting farming input costs, it also had a positive impact on the annual yield. Setting up of such centers was part of concerted efforts towards making all the agriculture related schemes available at the door steps of farmers as well as making the villages self-reliant.”
The action taken by the agriculture department by closing the centers is inappropriate and callous, Lone said while seeking immediate roll back of the order. “The measure is blind to the day to day issues faced by the farmers in remote areas. Moreover multi-utility sub-sale centers like these could have been effectively used by the government to reach out to farmers to ensure that they don’t have to undergo trepidation in view of prevailing lockdown following COVID-19 crises. The inappropriate move has been taken whimsically without keeping in view the arduous topography of Kashmir. Where are the poor farmers from remote hilly areas going to purchase necessary prerequisites for farming in view of prevailing lockdown? The dim-witted measure undertaken by the concerned department has put farmers across Kashmir division in a tight spot. There is no other source, poor farmers could buy from. The step will indeed affect the annual yield and push the farmers, already affected by weather and tumultuous situation, towards impoverishment.”
He further said, “I therefore urge the government to roll back the order immediately, otherwise the resultant impact of such a measure will show in terms of annual agriculture yield.” (GNS)