Pakistan - Dates farmers suffer Rs2 billion loss

05.08.2022 388 views

Like human settlements and infrastructure, torrential rains in Balochistan’s Mekran belt have severally affected the date fruits too, causing an estimated Rs2 billion loss to farmers. Local residents told The Express Tribune that heavy rains destroyed dates in Panjgur, Turbat and other parts of the Makran.

“We have suffered huge financial losses because of rains and floods,” Muhammad Jan, a local farmer and dealer said.

The dates season was about to start when floods and heavy rainfall started in the area. “We were expecting a bumper dates crop this year and were ready for harvest but floods destroyed everything,” Muhammad Jan said. 

The varieties destroyed by torrential rains include Moonzawati, the most popular dates of Panjgur and Rabyee, a delicate yet delicious date of Panjgur. Flooding and rains inflicted huge financial losses on local growers and farmers in the province.

As per the statistics shared by the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), floods have destroyed standing crops on more than 200,000 acres of land in various parts of Balochistan.

The financial losses of date farmers in Mekran is estimated at Rs2 billion, Shabir Ahmed Mengal, the Commissioner of Mekran Division told The Express Tribune. The provincial government has ordered all deputy commissioners of the flood-hit districts to assess the damages and submit a comprehensive report to the government. Floods have also destroyed grapes orchards in Pishin, Killa Abdullah and other districts of the province.

Heavy rainfall has destroyed grapes, tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables in Pishin, Killa Abdullah, Killa Saifullah, Barkhan, Kohlu, Khuzdar and other districts of Balochistan.

“Government should announce a special package for the farmers and growers of Balochistan,” Abdul Rehman Bazai, the central leader of Growers Action Committee (GAC) Balochistan demanded. Bazai noted that farmers suffered huge financial losses because of recent floods and rains in the province and they should be compensated.

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