Farmers waiting free inputs
The farmers belonging to the rural plus flood-hit areas are helpless this time because they are so poor that have not resources to meet the requirements about the farm inputs, financial needs for sowing the winter crops. The fields using for sowing agriculture crops have been destroyed by devastated floods. The fields need leveling, fertisers, irrigation and seed which need government help in shape of credit, free seed and fertilizers and it is government duty to help the poor farmers of the areas. The recent floods were considered the worst in the history of Pakistan in terms of its duration. The poor governance and capacities of the government agencies including government itself failed to handle the situation. In Sindh alone, more than one million people are displaced, of which more than 70 per cent are women and children, whose homes are damaged or destroyed, and some communities yet remain surrounded by floodwaters. Three months after the floods devastated the communities, many farmers are yet not able to sow winter crops to meet next food needs. The worst-hit areas may take three more months to dry out, rendering communities food-insecure and look for help somewhere else, compounded by the fact that the Sindh government promised to provide free seed and fertiliser, which have not yet been disbursed. Growers from flood-affected areas are waiting for the free-of-cost wheat seed and fertiliser despite completion of all the paperwork and other formalities. Nevertheless, government officials are making all kinds of excuses to avoid delivery of inputs, not knowing that weather will wait for no one. The most affected are the small. Another aspect that is contributing towards compounding the already bad situation is the availability of agriculture credit. State Bank of Pakistan Governor Shahid Hafeez Kardar recently disclosed that share of the agriculture sector in the bank credit is merely 4.9 per cent which, he thinks, given the importance and the potential of the sector is quite disappointing. In the absence of both governments' help for seed and fertiliser, and access to reasonable credit, food insecurity will rise and the significant number of rural poor will remain poor.