SWABI: The growers and their leaders on Saturday called for urgent financial assistance from both the federal and provincial governments to help them make up for the damages the recent rains and flash floods have caused to their crops.

The demand was made at a meeting organised by Ittehad Kashtharan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (IKKP), here.

The participants said that the devastating floods had not only destroyed crops but also the entire agriculture infrastructure, and without the government help they won’t be able to recover from the huge losses.

Speaking on the occasion, IKKP president Arif Khan said that they had conducted a survey of the damaged crops in Swabi, and the farmers were in dire straits as they suffered massive losses and urgently needed financial support to restore their livelihood sources.

“We appeal to the provincial and federal governments to extend help to the devastated farmers. International donor agencies should also come forward to help the growers,” he said.

Iqbal Shewa, vice-president of IKKP, said that despite the fact that the growers were in deep trouble the multinational companies purchased tobacco from them at throwaway prices. “Small farmers are in deep agony, but they are the ones who will likely miss out on any government help just like in the past when official aid often ended up in the pockets of big growers.”

The participants adopted a unanimous resolution, demanded that the growers should be extended interest-free loans to help rebuild their lives and farmlands.

They also demanded formulation of a new agriculture policy keeping in mind the financial difficulties faced by the smalls farmers, and expressed the hope that despite economic difficulties the government would come forward to help them.

POWER SUSPENSION: A thunderstorm caused power supply suspension to many regions for long hours as the Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) field staff remained busy throughout the day on Saturday to restore supply to the affected areas.

A Pesco executive engineer told Dawn that two poles fell near the Bacha Khan Hospital Complex, disrupting supply to the entire region. He said similar reports were received from other regions as well.

Sarzamin, a Maneri Bala jirga member, accused the Pesco staff of launching the repair work on damaged lines with much delay, troubling the consumers in the humid weather.

Published in Dawn, September 18th, 2022

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