Farmers’ Association Decry Water Shortage in Sindh

The Sindh Abadgar Ittehad (SAI) has demanded that the government restore natural waterways immediately or risk incurring billions of rupees in losses in the event of heavy rains and flooding, as it did in last year’s disaster.

A meeting presided over by SAI President Nawab Zubair Talpur the other day observed that the meteorological department had forecast torrential rainfall in Sindh this year. Members urged the provincial government to restore the waterways as soon as possible and to take immediate action in this regard, reported Dawn.

The meeting lambasted deliberate fertilizer shortages and accused the Sindh agriculture department of black-marketing and hoarding. Members opined that hoarders should be prosecuted in order to end the shortage. They contended that the government passes legislation following other provinces in order to effectively curb smuggling and hoarding of fertilizers that are worsening the impact of record-breaking inflation on key agricultural inputs.

The meeting also criticized the 50 percent water shortage being reported on the tail-end during the sowing season. Farmers said that due to incomplete construction at Safaraz Wah to Kissana Mori, the water channels are not getting sufficient supply.

Farmers have called for a fixed electricity tariff of Rs. 8 per unit for the agricultural sector. Notably, the fixed electricity tariff has been a key demand of farmers since they’re frequently charged different rates throughout the season while crop prices do not increase in accordance.

Last year, Sindh was the key victim of the disastrous floods with 4.4 million acres destroyed and 249,000 livestock animals lost according to World Bank Data. While the flood damage remained limited to the few districts of Punjab in the south, an estimated 80 percent of cotton production was lost in Sindh. The farmers association demanded that immediate steps are needed to be taken in this regard to resume the waterways, but the floods are not the only problem farmers have to take care of.

Source: Pro Pakistani