Crop insurance will strengthen horticulture sector

The horticulture sector contributes to more than 8.2 percent of Jammu & Kashmir’s GDP. However, the recent multiple spells of rains followed by hailstorms caused huge damage to the orchards across various districts of the valley, with fruit-laden trees including apple, cherry and pear orchards suffering extensive damage, endangering the livelihoods of around 45 lakh farmers. So, the government should intervene and give aid packages to the affected farmers and implement a crop insurance scheme that covers trees or rootstock in Kashmir. The horticulture sector, according to estimates, might have witnessed a loss of Rs 200 crore. The fruit industry also suffered huge losses due to the closure of the national highway last year and the slashing of the import duty of the Washington apples by 20 percent. In light of these facts, crop insurance schemes become extremely important as these can provide financial protection to farmers against losses incurred due to natural calamities or other unforeseen circumstances. This will also ensure that farmers can continue to grow crops without the fear of losing their investment. By providing farmers with a safety net, the crop insurance scheme will encourage them to make long-term investments in their farms, such as buying new equipment, investing in new technologies, and expanding their operations. It can help farmers adapt to the changing climate by providing them with the financial support they need to invest in climate-resilient crops and farming practices.

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