Bhopal, March 26 With a 21-day lockdown in the country to prevent coronavirus, farmers are worried about their standing crops because if the harvesting and storage is not done on time then they will suffer. Farmers are now demanding special concessions from the government in these conditions.
Generally, the harvesting time of rabi crops including wheat, gram, and mustard is in March and April. At present, these crops are blooming in the fields of Madhya Pradesh as preparations are being made for harvesting them but the coronavirus has not left farmers untouched.
The 21-day lockdown has made it difficult for farmers to reach their fields and harvest the crop.
Shivkumar Kakaji, National President of Kisan Mazdoor Mahasangh and Abhimanyu Kohada, National President of Youth Unit, have written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi supporting the decision of the lockdown and said that the federation and crores of farmers of the country supports it.
They wrote, "These days it is time to harvest the rabi crops, in some states farmers have harvested the crops, in some states it is still under preparation and the process will continue till the next days. Where the crop has been harvested all the hard work and cost of the farmers there is lying open in the fields at the moment, as well as the crop standing in the fields is prone to unseasonal rain and danger from animals."
It said that the economy of the country is agriculture based, and due to this lockdown, it will be difficult for the farmers to go to the farm and this will affect the economy and there will be a risk of adverse conditions.
Apart from this, with no proper storage of grains and no concrete strategy for farmers and farming, the situation may become more serious in future because if this corona epidemic lasts for a long time then starvation conditions can also arise, it said.
The farmers demanded that an effective strategy should be chalked out by the central government keeping in mind their problems and the necessary orders are issued to the states. Passes should also be issued to farmers, labourers and others engaged in harvesting for the stipulated time frame.
Similarly, Kedar Sirohi, a farmer leader, said that no one is against the lockdown as it is a way to stop the epidemic, but keeping in view the problems of farmers, something must be done so there is no loss to the harvested crop.
At the same time, arrangements should be made for purchasing crops from farmers, as if this is not done then the coming days will be troublesome for the farmers and for the country.
Sirohi suggested that after the harvesting of the farmers, a plan should be made to purchase at the village level so that the farmers are able to get a reasonable price for the produce. Also, proper storage should be made for the harvest.
He said if the government does not step in, the traders would buy grain from the farmers for a quarter of the price and the farmers would be compelled to sell it.
( With inputs from IANS )