Farmers Most Wary Of Lockdown Extension
Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh has said that the lockdown should be extended for at least 15 days around the country. However, on Friday, the Punjab government had already announced the extension of the lockdown in the state till April 30. Captain Amarinder Singh said that traders and the agriculture sector should get special, immediate concessions during the lockdown. He also said that the supply of rapid testing kits to examine patients should be sped up. Meanwhile, daily wage labourers and farmers are extremely terrified due to reports of the lockdown being extended. Due to the lockdown, daily wage labourers from several cities have returned to their villages and the agriculture sector is being adversely affected. In Ludhiana, the potato and wheat crops of farmers are ready but daily wagers to harvest and sift through the crops cannot be found. The same condition prevails in states like Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, where potato and wheat crops are ready but since no labourers are available, the crop is on the verge of being destroyed. In Kerala’s Malappuram, Saifu cultivates ‘kheera’ and ‘kakdi’ -- varieties of cucumber. He said that this year, the yield is better than last time but the demand is next to nil and the prices of cucumber have also fallen sharply. Meanwhile, tea leaves are ready for harvesting in states like Assam, West Bengal and Kerala but labourers to pluck it are not available. According to Dibrugarh Tea Estate Manager Mridul Sharma, he has received permission from the district administration to pluck tea leaves but he has been asked to take special care to maintain cleanliness and hygiene and to observe social distancing. Amid all this, daily wagers are grappling with a food crisis. All movement is completely suspended due to the lockdown. Despite wanting to, farmers cannot return to any state for work.
As PM hints at the #lockdownextension for two more weeks during a video conference with the state CMs, #farmers are the ones who are most worried about the move as their harvest is ready but lack of #dailywagers has halted the cutting and picking process#coronavirus pic.twitter.com/UJswagU1gE— GoNewsIndia (@GoNews_India) April 11, 2020