1. Agriculture World

Covid lockdown followed by Cyclone Tauktae makes Belagavi farmers’ life difficult

Chintu Das
Chintu Das

The ongoing lockdown in Karnataka due to Covid-19 followed by Cyclone Tauktae last week gave a two-way blow to the growers in Belagavi. Farmers who grow chillis, carrots, coriander, chocolates, brinjals and ladyfingers have no choice but to feed their cattle's with it or allow their crops to decompose in the soil.  

When the farmer questioned on how to sell their ready to reap crops as a lockdown had been enforced and there was no market, Cyclone Tauktae came down and escalated the situation even more. The heavy rainfall that arose from the arrival of Tauktae destroyed the remaining crops in Belagavi. April and May are peak months for farmers to sell their yields because the prices of vegetables typically rise during this time.

However, again this year was ruthless. The market has dried up with exports of vegetable products to other countries standstill because of lock-downs. Then came early rain damaging the cucumbers, corianders and other leafy plants.

Gajanan Koluche, a farmer in Basavan Kudachi village, became frustrated and started uprooting his ready-to-harvest chillis. "To make up for last year's defeat, we switched to chillis this time. But we've been afflicted once more. We won't even be able to recoup the money we spent on this crop "he said  

Coriander was seen being fed to cattle by farmers who had grown it. Cucumbers grown by others were washed away in the rain. Many farmers let their crops decompose on their farmland in the hopes of making the soil more fertile. "If we harvest them and take the vegetables to market, there are no buyers, so we have no choice but to dump it on the field," they explained.

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