The November 3rd and 4rth snowfall last year wreaked havoc with the Valley’s horticulture and agricùlture. According to the preliminary assessment done by the state government’s field agencies, nearly 53,000 hectares of horticulture and 9,000 hectares of agriculture crops have been severely damaged and the tentative losses are estimated at over Rs 500 crore. The figures dished out by the state government were based on rough estimates prepared by field agencies based on their imagination and yes to some extent on observations. But when you try to match these figures with the ground situation, you find these far from truth. On the other hand the financial assistance available under State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF)guidelines, a very meagre amount of relief is admissible on account of damages and losses to crops which is grossly insufficient to compensate the affected farmers. The state government appears helpless in view of the rules framed by GOI based on statistics and prices of commodities in states like Odisha, Bihar, UP, MP etc for paying compensation to affected farmers. The GOI has never taken a holistic view of its rules that it applies universally throughout the country without drawing a distinction between temperate and arid and plains of India.  It should be more considerate to the temperate regions which are hilly and difficult terrain which are placed in disadvantaged areas. The unprecedented snowfall on November 3 and 4 had caused colossal damage not only to the apple crops but also to the trees with far reaching consequences for future fruit production. In this backdrop it would be prudent to have actual assessment of losses done through an independent agency so that the state could have a matching response. The state administration is understood to have asked the union government to depute a team to have on the spot assessment if the situation obtaining in the valley as far as losses to horticulture and agriculture are concerned. The feedback we get from field is that pretty little has been done in the initial exercise of reaching out to the distressed farmers with aid. They had raised loans from banks and private resources which they find very difficult to repay in foreseable time. Lately the state is understood to have released an additionality of nearly 97.5 crores as assistance to the farmers. By all standards thus is too little and too late!