Kothagudem: Lockdown imposed in the country following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic has been compelling farmers growing horticulture crops to become roadside vendors and also causing losses to them.
Shortage of labour and disinterest among traders to procure the produce from the farmers has been causing misery to the farmers growing fruits and vegetables. In order to overcome the problem and sell the produce, the farmers are setting up stalls by the side of roads in Khammam.
Since the shelf life of fruits is very short we have to sell them as soon as possible after harvesting, otherwise they will develop fungi and putrefy leading to loss. That is why I have set up this stall by the side of the road to sell fruits, stated a farmer, Chappidi Nageswar Rao.
For the past one month he has been selling papaya which he has grown in his six acres land at Vinoba Nagar in Bhadradri Kothagudem district. This time the yield is good but sadly the traders are shying away from procuring the produce.
Under normal conditions the traders will engage the labour to harvest the crop and transport them to places like Hyderabad, Rajahmundry, Vijayawada, Khammam and other places and we need not worry about neither harvesting nor transporting.
In the view of lockdown the traders stayed away due to shortage of labour and transport restrictions. Those shown interest to harvest the crop offered meagre price of Rs 3000 per tonne, which is nearly two times less than the normal price, Nageswar Rao told Telangana Today.
As papaya will decay fast I am selling the fruits at throw away prices. Yet the public are resorting to hard bargains and want to buy at much cheaper price. Nonetheless, I am yielding to their bargain as holding back the produce will yield nothing, he averred. ‘My field is now smelling fetid with ripened fruits falling on the ground and decayed, as I am not able to harvest the whole crop in the field’, he grieved and yet is satisfied with what he is earning through the fruit sale. Majority of farmers who are growing the fruits and vegetables are facing the same situation. Sometimes the farmers are unable to get back even the labour and transport charges, he explained.
He said he began selling fruits soon after the lockdown rules are relaxed. In the beginning he used to get Rs 300 to Rs 400 per day. Now he is earning Rs 1000 to Rs 1500. According to him a farmer can earn about Rs 40, 000 to 50, 000 per acre if everything is normal.
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