Agriculture World

Farmers Worried due to Unavailability of Labourers to Harvest Crops

Abha Toppo
Abha Toppo
bitter gourd

Due to nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of Coronavirus in India, farmers are going through many problems due to unavailability of workers or labourers to harvest their crops. Kathirvel, is one amongst thousands of farmers who are badly affected due to lockdown. Kathirvel owns a 60-acre farm near Thalamalai in Thalavady.

Kathirvel said that currently he has cultivated bitter gourd, ridge gourd and snake gourd over 25 acres of his land. He sells three to four tonnes of these vegetables every day to the merchants at Erode main market and to some of the colleges situated at Thindal and Gobichettipalayam. After that, wholesale merchants from Kerala purchase bulk of his produce, said the farmers, who employs around 25 - 30 labourers at his farm.

ridge gourd

This was the routine prior to the nationwide lockdown. Now, Kathirvel says he is finding it very difficult to search labourers as people are prevented from stepping out for work. The farmer told that “For a couple of days, I am not able to harvest the vegetables and if I do not harvest them then I will face loss. We can only begin cultivation after six months.”

Similarly, farmers are struggling to harvest tapioca that is being cultivated in more than 18,000 hectares in Erode because of the shortage of labourers.  This has led to a loss of 3000 hectares of produce until now, said farmers. They have asked the government to make necessary arrangements to permit farm labourers to work in the fields.

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