Farmers of betel leaf (paan) have reported extensive damage to the crop because of rain across the state in the past two weeks.
The betel leaf growers’ union has demanded that the state government compensate the farmers for their losses and also include the crop in insurance scheme.
Paan is cultivated in 21 districts in the state: Mahoba, Banda, Lalitpur, Sonebhadra, Mirzapur, Varanasi, Azamgarh, Jaunpur, Ballia, Ghazipur, Barabanki, Sultanpur, Pratapgarh, Prayagraj, Amethi, Hardoi, Sitapur, Unnao, Kanpur, Rae Bareli and Lucknow.
“All these districts have reported absolute destruction of the crop because of winter rain and dew,” said Chhotelal Chaurasia, general secretary of Rashtriya Paan Kisan Union, Uttar Pradesh.
Betel leaf is an extremely weather-sensitive crop which is why it the farmers cultivate it in ‘baraja (reed housing)’–a kind of traditional greenhouse for temperature and moisture control.
“The government considers paan farming as horticulture and not as agriculture and crop insurance does not cover it. We have been demanding that paan should be covered in crop insurance to insulate farmers in case of calamities as has happened now,” said…
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