kARACHI    -   Karachi-Sindhi Minister for Agriculture Muhammad Ismail Rahu has said that despite the fact that recent rains in the province have destroyed crops sown over millions of acres of lands, the federal government is yet to announce any relief package for the farmers. 

Addressing a press conference here at the premises of Sindh Assembly on Tuesday, Rahu made a revelation that around 70 to 90 percent of crops in 15 districts of Sindh had been completely destroyed.

The provincial minister appealed to the federal government to impose agriculture emergency in the province since Sukkur had lost 35 percent, Sanghar 21 percent, Naushero Feroze 20 percent while Thatta and Sujawal had lost 50 percent of their cotton crops in recent monsoon downpours.

Giving more details, Rahu said that 75 percent of cotton crop was destroyed in Tando Allah Yar, 80 percent in Mirpurkhas and Umerkot each, 15 percent in Jamshoro, while 30 percent in Hyderabad and Badin each.

The minister said that sugarcane crop was cultivated over 740,208 acres in the province prior to rains. “However, after the rains, 9 percent sugarcane crop had been destroyed in Naushero Feroze, 18 percent in Badin, 50 percent in Tando Allah Yar and 5 percent in Tando Muhammad Khan,” he elaborated.

He further said that due to recent rains, tomato crop in Umerkot, Mirpurkhas and Badin had been completely destroyed, while banana crop in Tando Allah Yar had been 70 percent destroyed. Ismail Rahu said that 15 percent loss had been caused to the rice crop in Thatta, 40 percent in Badin and 20 percent in Tando Muhammad Khan.

Sindh minister for agriculture said that farmers in the province were worried over the ‘poor’ policies of the federal government. “Marked increase in the prices of seeds, fertilizers and medicines has also made the farmers worried,” he said, and added that even the federal ministers from Sindh had not done anything for the province. “Today, they are nowhere to be seen,” Rahu regretted.

Rahu was of the view that the recent visit by president and governor to Sindh only rubbed salt into people’s wounds. “The Centre has not done anything concrete to alleviate the sufferings of farmers in Sindh,” the provincial minister concluded.