Fearing yet another lock down, the farmers of Western Maharashtra, Vidarbha and Marathwada have started dumping their crops and vegetables in their fields as they are unsure of their sale and marketing.
Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana founder Raju Shetti has urged the state government to intervene and help the farmers so that they will not face a financial crisis yet again if the limited lockdown is announced.
Shetti put up a video where farmers from Shirol in Kolhapur district are seen removing vegetables and throwing them in their fields following the uncertainty in the wake of possible lockdown. “Fearing a lockdown, the market prices of vegetables have come down. Farmers are removing the crop and throwing in the field,’’ he noted.
NCP legislator from Beed district Sanjay Daud told Free Press Journal, “Farmers are in panic. A large number of farmers have yet to recover from the loss caused due to the COVID-19 induced lockdown last year. However, farmers came together and formed groups of five farmers each to dispose of vegetables and crops among various localities. They received an overwhelming response as they could make up some loss. This year too they are prepared to see that agricultural produce sales are not hampered.”
He further said that the government needs to communicate updates on lockdown decisions so that farmers will not take any hasty steps.
On the other hand, Maharashtra Legislative Council Deputy Chairperson Neelam Gorhe urged the state government to review if the farmers are forced to go in for distress sale amid lockdown talk. ‘’ The departments of agriculture, revenue and transport should sit together and prepare an action plan so that farmers can sell their produce following the COVID-19 norms without incurring losses,’’ she noted.
Further, Gorhe called upon the state government not to impose curbs on intra district, inter districts and inter states transportation of agriculture produce in the wake of announcement of a limited lockdown.