Business Standard

Farmers dump produce on streets for lack of transport, demand


Press Trust of India Bengaluru
: The ongoing lockdown has led

to many farmers in several parts of Karnataka to dump their produce on the streets following crash in the price due to lack of transportation and poor buyer interest.
At Mysuru, many farmers who came from nearby villages threw tomatoes on the road-sides as the prices hit rock- bottom

The major demand used to come from neighbouring Kerala for the tomatoes grown in and around Mysuru but since the border has been closed, no trader is coming from Gods own country to purchase them.
With tears in eyes, a farmer said, "People want our crop to be sold at 50 paise to Re one per kg, which we cannot afford. We had spent on transportation, fertilisers, pesticides and irrigation and we had to sweat under the sun to grow them. We prefer destroying them rather than selling them at a throwaway price."

In Kurubagatti village in Dharwad in north Karnataka, farmers growing flowers on 500 acres of land are staring at the uncertainty as they are set to incur huge losses due to the lockdown.
The chilli growers of Raichur are no different and are clueless about coping with the crisis rising out of novel coronavirus scare.
According to the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha president Kodihalli Chandrashekar, all the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committees (APMCs) across the state have been shut down and there are no takers for the standing crops.
"There is stock of 2,000 tonnes of chilli in the state but what to do with them now. The coconut market at Tiptur and Arasikere is shutdown. So, is the flower market. Pineapple, banana, ginger and termeric crops are ready but can it be harvested when we don't know what to do next," Chandrashekar rued.
The farmer-leader said the major crops such as corn and paddy in the Tungabhadra belt are ready for harvest but no labourer is coming out due to the lockdown.
Regarding corn, Chandrashekar said the major buyers are the poultry farm owners but they have taken a huge hit due to poor demand and are not placing orders.
Sunflower, groundnut and cotton crops are also ready for shortage but farmers are handicapped by severe labour shortage. Similarly, the silk market has crashed, he added.
"Those who are on payroll will get their full salaries but what about the farmers and labourers in the rural areas," Chandrashekar asked.

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First Published: Mar 30 2020 | 8:08 PM IST

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