Jan 31 2013
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Farmers seek compensation as frost damages vegetables - Call for taking preventive measures
KUWAIT: About 60 to 70 percent of some farms in Wafra were affected or damaged by the severe frost in the past few weeks in some areas of Kuwait. The frost spoiled tens of tons of tomatoes, potatoes and other vegetables and caused heavy losses to the farmers. A number of farm owners affected by the frost said they were waiting for the government and the National Assembly Council to compensate them for the heavy losses that they have incurred.
They said in the previous years, whenever there were losses due to frost, the agriculture authority offered them compensation. According to Dr Jose Kaitharath, an agriculturist at Al- Faisaliya Farm, the damage wreaked by the heavy frost was too heavy in some of the farms. "Yes, I can confirm the damage sustained due to heavy frost in Wafra Farms. Certain farms sustained at least 70 percent losses although we cannot give the exact figure as yet, which the government will," Dr Kaitharath told the Kuwait Times. He admitted though that his farm did not suffer such heavy losses. "We did not experience any heavy losses this time because we had introduced a much better irrigation system on our farm.
I believe such weather related catastrophes could be prevented if farmers or farm owners knew the weather forecast for the day. Since the frost only stays for a few hours or even minutes, one can take certain preventive measures just like we did, and avoid such heavy losses," he said. "In Holland and certain other European countries, they easily prevent damage during such phenomena because they know when it is going to happen and they are well prepared. They use materials like insulation sheets to cover their fields. Such a system can be adopted here and it could help our farmers a lot," Dr Kaitharath stressed. Asked whether the Kuwaiti government has given them compensation for frost losses, he said, "They promised to do so but in our case in Al-Faisaliya, for the last two years, we have not received any compensation for the frost losses.
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