Rain-ravaged farmers in Sindh still waiting for emergency aid

As the cultivation for wheat starts in the month of November, the rain-hit growers in the province of Sindh are desperately waiting for the earlier announced government aid to take off the cultivation process. The Government of
Pakistan had announced emergency assistance to the rain-affected growers but the worse hit farmers of left Indus River bank are still hoping that the government’s promises materialise some day.

Recent monsoon rains have caused severe destruction in most parts of upper Sindh, especially the suburbs of the Indus River. The rich cultivable land has been badly affected by rain and floods in the past few months and the growers
are already suffering from lack of funds to kick-start the cultivation of wheat. It can be easily foreseen that if the government does not assist the affected farmers in the near future, a lack of wheat is sure to be hitting the country in the coming year.

The government had promised to provide wheat seed and urea to each farmer who has less than 25 acres of agricultural land. However, the amount of seed and urea to be given will be just sufficient to be utilised for just 33 per
cent of the total 25 acres of land.

President Asif Ali Zardari has instructed the relevant authorities to ensure the distribution of certified wheat seed among the rain-ravaged farmers and the Sindh Government officials have reported to the President that monitoring
teams have been formed to make sure fair distribution of the inputs. One of the members of the Senior Member Board of Revenue, Shazar Shamun, has stated that revenue officials at the district level will be dealing with the distributions of inputs among the
growers, whereas the procurement of seed and urea will he dealt by the agricultural department.

“I think the distribution process would start in a week or so,” he said to one of the news reporters.

Some other senior officials have also suggested the government that since the process of distribution has still not initiated; it will be wise to give cash to the farers to avoid further delay in the cultivation process.