Dear Editor,The farming is the backbone of Indian economy and the worst affected by COVID-19 is the farmer. Like other parts of country the farmers of Jammu and Kashmir suffered a lot due to continuous lockdown. In Jammu district first the farmers of border belt could not go for sowing of wheat Crop due to untimely rains and now due to lockdown, the sugarcane growing farmers of Marh block are facing great hardships as their labour of one year in nurturing and maintaining sugarcane crop went in vain due to continuous lockdown. Due to social distance restriction and closure of sugarcane juice extraction machines, these farmers are unable to sale their crop this year. It is pertinent to mention here that 99 per cent of sugarcane in Jammu is supplied by the farmers of cluster of villages including Shama Chack, Gurha Singhu, Kuntwala, Chanu chack of block Marh. Usually the sugarcane crop is harvested during the months of March to June, the peak summer season every year. A lot of employment avenues are also generated by engaging local labourers in the sugarcane harvesting transportation and operating juice extraction machines, who are presently idle at home. The standing crop is drying in the fields due to no demand and very soon, the farmers will be forced to burn the crop to vacat the fields for next crop. Each Kanal of sugarcane field fetche a farmer an average of rupees twenty thousand per annum. Keeping in view the vast area a huge loss estimated to be Lakhs will be incurred to farmers. On behalf of suffering farmers it is requested to LG of UT to kindly look into the matter and direct the department of agriculture to conduct a survey of sugarcane farmers besides compensating accordingly. Darshan Kumar, Shamachak, Marh, Jammu.
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