Chilli farmers feel the ‘lockdown’ heat as rabi season set to end

A video that captured the heart-rending story of a chilli farmer has absent viral in WhatsApp teams in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. With a lush eco-friendly crop, practically completely ready for harvesting, in the backdrop, the farmer lamented how the lockdown is killing the crop.

“We have invested a great deal. The problem is really bad now. Chillis, staying really fragile, are falling as temperatures are mounting. We desperately need to have labourers to get the chillis plucked,” the unidentified farmer pleads.

Collective agony

He is not alone. It is a collective agony of countless numbers of farmers in the two Telugu States.

As the motion of individuals and motor vehicles is curtailed, chilli farmers in the two Telugu States, which contribute 50-sixty for each cent of India’s chilli output, confront a really serious challenge of shedding the crop. Marketyards throughout the two States have been shut down owing to Covid-19 fears.

In accordance to estimates, about thirty-forty for each cent of the crop is however to be harvested. Some of the farmers, who completed the harvesting, placed their deliver in chilly storages.

With the rabi year coming to a near in a week or so, the chilli farmers are not in a placement to employ the service of labourers for harvesting the crop. In addition to, they would call for pesticides and fertilisers ahead of the harvesting year but they are not equipped to get the shares as the input sellers have shut down the outlets.

Among Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, chillis are grown in about 6 lakh acres, with a complete output of 7-8 lakh tonnes.

The problem began a thirty day period ago as traders had both stopped or slowed down the purchases right after worldwide source chains were disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak.

There has been no permit-up in the problem ever given that. As the year highly developed and the state announced a 21-working day lockdown, the woes of the farmers that develop this labour-intensive crop only increased.

Manufacturing price

They are in a precarious problem. The price of production has absent up to about ₹2 lakh an acre.

“They would call for at least 50 individuals (largely gals) to decide on chillis. With labourers not transferring out of their villages and with no motor vehicles in sight, it has turn out to be really difficult for them to employ the service of individuals,” Sarampally Malla Reddy, Vice-President of All-India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), advised BusinessLine.

B Dasaratha Rami Reddy, Secretary-Normal of the Confederation of Indian Farmers’ Associations (CIFA), has explained that the motion of motor vehicles and individuals has turn out to be however extra difficult as villagers blocked the streets.

Malla Reddy pegs the availability of labourers at ten for each cent of the complete requirement. “There is another challenge of storing the output. As marketplaces are shut, they need to have to keep the deliver in chilly storages, whose capability is really minimal, in contrast with the output,” he explained.

Storage issues

All chilly storage godowns are brimming with chilli shares. “Not all can pay for the cost. It will price ₹160-200 to keep a bag (of about forty-50 kg) for 6 months,” Jaipal Reddy, a farmer in Warangal district, explained.

The farmers have misplaced hope. “Even if the marketplaces are opened and we are equipped to complete harvesting, we may well not get a great cost as the deliver would flood the market place once the problem is eased,” another farmer explained.