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Amid Coronavirus, farmers selling bumper crops at throwaway prices in Ludhiana

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Amid Coronavirus, farmers selling bumper crops at throwaway prices in Ludhiana

A bumper crop of vegetables is being harvested these days, but the farmers are unable to reap its benefit. Instead, they are incurring losses as they are forced to either plough the crop or sell the produce at low prices due to curfew in the state.

There is no designated channel for selling farm produce during the lockdown period. Besides, the farmers are losing sleep as wheat harvesting is due within the next few days. Many farmers are unable to get permission to venture out to sell their produce, as they do not have the ways and means to approach the authorities concerned.

At this juncture, the crop of peas, cucumber, cauliflower, cabbage, potato etc is being harvested. The middlemen and the retailers are making a quick buck by selling vegetables at exorbitant rates.

The local mandis, where the farmers can sell their produce directly to the customers have been shut down, while the time limit to go to the main mandi is just two hours, which doesn’t give them time to bargain, so they just have to take whatever price is being offered.

Amrik Singh, a farmer from a village near Kohara, says, “Since vegetables are perishable, we cannot keep the stock for long. This is the harvesting season and we have quintals of vegetables, but no place to sell. The vegetables which we used to sell at Rs 15 per kg are now being sold at as low as Re 1 per kg.” If things remain the same, I will be left with no option but to plough the crop. I do not know how to take permission from the DC, he adds. Another farmer from Sariah village says, “Some farmers in our village have already destroyed the crop of peas. Yesterday, I went to the main mandi in Ludhiana, but the wholesalers are hardly giving any price and in two hours, I was unable to sell my produce at the desired price.”

Farmers have demanded that the agriculture and mandi officials should be designated for collecting the produce in such a manner that there is no rush of the people at one place and farmers get the desired price.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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