Hailstorm at Lailynkot, 50 km from Shillong
Hailstorm at Laitlyngkot, 50 km from Shillong on Wednesday. Image credit - Northeast Now

The decision to allow sowing activities to start amid lockdown has been met with hardships as farmers start asking the Meghalaya government to provide them manures and fertilizers at subsidized rate.

Airing the farmers’ woes, UDP East Khasi Hills assistant general secretary Egenstar Kurkalang wrote to agriculture minister Banteidor Lyngdoh and sought his intervention in view of the hardships being faced by the farmers due to the ongoing lockdown in their preparation for sowing as well as harvesting.

Also read: Massive hailstorm hits Meghalaya

Stating that fertilizer is not available in the market, Kurkalang said without chemical fertilizer, it is not possible to cultivate since the soil fertility in almost all parts of East Khasi Hills is unbearable for its productivity for commercialization the agricultural produces of the farmers to meet their livelihood.

“The manure also couldn’t be transported from Shillong to agricultural fields despite being the essential ingredient for growing of vegetables or other crops. Therefore at this juncture, the only means that could be dealt with, is through government initiative and intervention to reduce their burdens,” Kurkalang said.

He urged the minister to arrange the fertilizers especially urea (Neem Coated Urea) to be supplied to the farmers at subsidized rate during this sowing season as well as in the next season through appropriate authority/ procedure.

Kurkalang said many growing crops like potato, cabbage, bean and tomato have been damaged due to heavy rainfall accompanied by hailstones in the last few days.

The affected areas include Smit area, Umphrup, Mawmuthoh, Mawpynthih, whole area of Elaka Laitlyngkot and other parts of East Khasi Hills district.

The heavy rainfalls accompanied by hailstorms have caused a huge loss to the farmers and this may put their future at stake, said Kurkalang.

Kurkalang requested the state government to conduct a survey or inspection for providing financial assistant/package, scheme from the State Disaster Response Fund/ National Disaster Response Fund (SDRF/NDRF) or any other schemes available from the government or any and other schemes that the government deem fit for farmers whose crops have been affected due to natural calamity.

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