Farmers In Border areas of J&K In Crisis As Non-Local Labourers Leave Following Cross-Border Firing

JAMMU: Farmers in the border areas of Arnia in Jammu and Kashmir are facing a grave shortage of labourers for the harvest of Basmati rice following cross-border firing and shelling last week.
Most of the labourers who come from other parts of India have left the area following the ceasefire violation.
As the farmers raised serious concerns over any delay in harvesting, the administration on Thursday sent mechanical harvesters to the area to cut the crops.
The cross-border shelling by Pakistan Rangers, the first major ceasefire violation since 2021, started around 8 pm Thursday in the Arnia area of RS Pura sector and lasted around seven hours, leaving two BSF jawans and a woman injured.
“We are facing difficulty in harvesting Basmati crop due to a shortage of labourers. Most of the labourers who come from outside Jammu and Kashmir have fled the area following cross-border shelling and firing last week,” Ram Singh, a farmer, told reporters here.
While rains damaged the crops in the second week of October, the cross-border firing and shelling affected the farmers further, he said.
Scores of families were seen engaged in harvesting themselves in the fields in various hamlets along the International Border (IB) in Arnia.
Treva Sarpanch Balbir Kour said, “We have been provided harvesters by the administration for their use by farmers of border areas.”
Kour said farmers can get themselves registered with the agriculture department for harvesting using the machine. (Agencies)