Soft loans for flood-hit farmers: Farooqui

Should be a set of guidelines for banks that help devise a concessional agricultural financing scheme, says Farooqi.

October 15, 2010

KARACHI: There should be a set of guidelines for banks that can help them devise a concessional agricultural financing scheme for flood-hit farmers, said Adviser to Chief Minister Sindh on Information Sharmila Farooqui.

Farooqui asked the finance minister to ensure that flood-affected farmers get loans at minimum interest rates so they can repair their damaged watercourses and make up for their agricultural losses.

According to her, the provincial agriculture department is working on an agriculture revival plan under the directives of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah.

The flood has washed away at least 2.2 million areas of cultivated land in Sindh. Moreover, thick layers of silt over farming land have erased or blurred demarcation lines, the adviser added.

The government has to remove the silt by providing farmers with the required equipment so that they can start preparing land for Rabi crops, Farooqui said.

Over 7,000 watercourses have also been damaged by the flood, which will be repaired by the combined efforts of agriculture and irrigation departments.

The government has already announced it will provide free of charge seeds to farmers of flood-hit areas for Rabi crops, the adviser added.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 15th, 2010.

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