Coronavirus lock down farmers income

Coronavirus lock down farmers income

By Anil SharmannThe coronavirus lockdown in India, which began from March 24th midnight to combat the spread of lethal virus in India, has hit farmers very hard. There are reports that fruits and vegetables are not reaching the markets and farmers not getting their due price while other reports suggest that dairy farmers are feeling pinch because of, which some call as an ?unplanned?, lockdown.nnRajasthan, especially Bikaner division is big producer of milk and reports coming in from rural area of the division say that milk prices in some of the pockets have touched as low as Rs 15 per liter. Bikaner is just one of the many such cases. There are many others too. All this mainly as supply chain has been broken.nnAt this low price, can a farmer sustain, no. The Union government needs to look into this and provide a suitable package for the farmers otherwise our rural economy will be affected badly. As per some reports villages are India’s backbone and they contribute between 44-46 percent to the country’s net domestic product, a really a big number.nnAt this tiring time for the farmers in the country, Kisan Congress leader Surendra Solanki has raised voice for the welfare of the farmers.nnHe said that due to coronavirus and ?unplanned? lockdown coupled with thundershowers and hailstorms in part of the country farmers are going through very tough time. They are not getting right price for their produce; on the contrary they are being forced to sell commodities and their produce at very low or cheap price and they are suffering as they have to pay heavy interest on the loans they had taken.nnThere is no doubt that farmers provide food to over 130 crore Indians, and are great contributors in the economy there care and wellbeing is very important for the growth of the country. ?They should not be neglected,? Solanki said. He requested Union government to waive off their loans and provide some kind of package to them.nnSome farmers groups have demanded a relief package ranging from one to 1.5-lakh crores. Though this figure on the table looks hefty, but the Union government needs to look into providing relief package at least of some thousand crores to the farmers.nnIt is worth mentioning here #kisanKarjaMukti hash tag on social media was recently very popular and over 200K people liked or retweeted it with many supporting the loan waiver for farmers.nnBesides this, even agri laborers are also passing through a very difficult phase. They don?t have work or money in their pockets to sustain.nnThe Union government should provide them some relief too.nnThe best example of creating or generating employment opportunities in rural areas has been the work done by Rajasthan deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot. Pilot knew the usefulness of MNREGA for providing employment in rural areas in the present situation, so he placed emphasis on the employment of workers by starting more and more work under MNREGA.nnTill April 17, only 62,000 workers were enrolled in Rajasthan now this figure has exceeded 22 lakhs. Moreover, looking at the heat in Rajasthan, Pilot has reduced working hours. A really great move to give employment during the coronavirus crisis and it needs to be copied by other states too.nn?Even after over 48 days of lockdown the farmers are eagerly waiting for financial package declaration by the Union government and the government should move quickly to provide them relief,? Solanki said adding ?farmers are the backbone of our economy.?nnTill afternoon of May 11, India reported 67,700 positive coronavirus cases out of which 44,344 were active as 21,147 recovered and 2,215 died due to the dangerous virus.

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