By ARUN PRATAP SINGH
DEHRADUN, 4 May: The state agriculture and horticulture departments have estimated a loss to the tune of Rs 26.34 crores to farmers due to unseasonal rains and hailstorms. This was revealed during a meeting chaired by the state Agriculture and Horticulture Minister Subodh Uniyal, here, today. Of the total estimated loss of Rs 26.34 crores, losses to the tune of Rs 1.82 crores were reported in Dehradun district.
Uniyal directed all the district agriculture and district horticulture officers to submit detailed reports on the crop damages due to recent untimely rains and hailstorms through the respective SDMs to the Mandi Parishad. The minister also took cognisance of the fact that floriculturists and florists, too, had faced huge losses due to rains and other reasons. He said that the amount of the losses to the floriculturists was also being assessed. The Union Government would be requested to compensate the farmers for their losses, he claimed.
Uniyal also said that separate sector wise plans would be worked out regarding providing employment to the large number of Uttarakhandis who have returned to their native places in reverse migration caused by the COVID-19 led countrywide lockdown. With a view to providing self-employment opportunities, a retail outlet would be set up under the State Horticulture Mission and the Horticulture Marketing Board. For this, subsidy would be provided by the Centre, while the state government would raise the state’s share in this project which would become a direct marketing outlet for the farmers of agriculture and horticulture produce in order to enhance their livelihood opportunities.
The minister also directed the officials to explore the possibility of utilisation of wasteland for farming by the reverse migrants.
Present on this occasion were Director, HRDI, CN Sanwal, Director, Tea Board, Sanjay Srivastava, Director, Silk Department, AK Yadav, Joint Director, Horticulture, Dr Ratan Kumar and senior officials of the Agriculture and Horticulture Directorate.