Video Editor: Mohd Ibrahim
The entire country is under a 21-day lockdown as the coronavirus threat looms but farmers are worried they won't be able to harvest their crops in time.
The Quint reached Damoah district in Madhya Pradesh to understand the plight of farmers there.
Damoah’s farmers said they want to harvest their crops and sell it in markets so they can earn money, but with the lockdown in place, they are unable to sell their produce. Tomato crops are ready to be harvested but farmers have been forced to leave them in the field.
It is important that the government takes some steps to allay their concerns and ensure the produce is sold in the markets so that the farmers can earn their living.
Crops Perish in the Fields
Parvati Patel, a farmer, says that her children are stuck in Jabalpur and Sagar and that she is unable to get the harvested crops to the market due to the lockdown. “The entire harvest is kept at home. Hope the government will do something,” she adds.
Meanwhile, for other farmers even harvesting is witnessing a major roadblock. The crops which would have been harvested now are perishing in the fields for lack of labourers to harvest them.
“You can see that our crops are ready to be harvested. Because of the curfew, we cannot get labourers to harvest them. And if they don’t get harvested, they won’t reach the market. This is becoming a big problem.”Mahendra Patel, Farmer
“We appeal to the government to do something so that our crops aren’t destroyed standing on the fields. If we don’t harvest it in 15 days, they will be destroyed,” one of the farmers said.
'Who Will Buy the Produce?'
The wheat crop is ready to be harvested, but even if they are harvested, who will buy it because markets are closed, ask farmers. Under ordinary circumstances, the government buys their crops. But this time, how will the government do this? The government has not laid out a blueprint. The big problem facing farmers at the moment is how will they sell their crops.
Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a complete lockdown, mandis have been closed and the sales have dipped. This is directly affecting the farmers because there are lesser people who are buying their produce.