Agriculture World

COVID-19 fears and fall in demand act as double blow for farmers

Saumy Deepak Tripathi
Saumy Deepak Tripathi

With hoards of migrant workers returning to their hometowns, the reopening of the economy is facing many hurdles businesses in cities like Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangalore is short of staff to operate. The story is the same for states like Haryana and Punjab where migrant workers are relied on for agriculture. But several problems are persisting in the migrants home town also. With such a large majority of them returning the economy there is not adequate to provide jobs for them.  

Nagendra Tripathi is a farmer from Mahrajganj District, Uttar Pradesh, he says” The sowing of Kharif season is to begin and in any normal year 90% of my workers used to be women who used to work for earning extra income for their household, but this year the number of people asking for work has increased”

Losses are not the only fear that the farmers have to deal this year with the fear of Covid-19 also lurking. .” Migrants who returned from trains run by the government were kept in quarantine at centres but many of them who came by foot, or cycle have not been observing these guidelines, a case came from my neighbouring village and I fear this could spread in the villages and I’m afraid of hiring people for work at my field as I don’t know who is infected and who is not” says.

The lockdown has also severely The lockdown has further added to the vows of the farmers as due to lack of transportation and demands the prices have fallen drastically and the next crop cycle looks grim. But few are talking about the current crop cycle, the rabi and Kharif are the two main sowing season but between them comes the Zaid season. The crops that grow in Zaid Season are mainly vegetables and many farmers are heavily dependant on it. Heera Lal Maurya, a farmer from Sonabhadra District says” We used to earn a hefty profit during this season but this year most of our produce was rotten as we had no market to sell, some people have sold vegetables at 1 ₹ per kg”. 

The upcoming season is also no smooth ride for the farmers.” Due to lockdown, we are unable to procure seeds and if we don’t begin sowing of seeds before Monsoon then our yield will suffer more, so even if the Monsoon is good we may suffer losses”, adds Heera Lal 

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