Hit hard by pandemic, veggie growers turn farm labourers - ECAS Punjab

Hit hard by pandemic, veggie growers turn farm labourers

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Parvesh Sharma

Tribune News Service

Sangrur, September 16

Residents of more than 100 villages of the district, who are main suppliers of vegetables to Punjab and other states, have suffered huge losses in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Annual lease rate of the agricultural land has also gone down in the area.

With one year having already gone down the drain due to the pandemic, vegetable growers fear more losses in the coming season given that the rise in the number of cases grows unabated.

Many have already turned into farm labourers, while others are contemplating to shift gears.

“Covid coupled with the wrong policies of the state government have caused massive losses to the vegetable growers, who have been struggling to recover their input cost. Had the government made required arrangements to transport vegetables to big towns, we would not have suffered so much,” said Salim, a vegetable grower from Malerkotla.

The growers allege that vegetables perished in their fields. Despite having made the required transport arrangements, they were not allowed to ferry their produce.

Before the lockdown, around 100 trucks of vegetables were sent daily from the Malerkotla vegetable market (the biggest vegetable market in the state) to Jammu and Kashmir, Chandigarh, Delhi, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur and Haryana. However, after the lockdown was imposed, the supplies reduced drastically, as only 40 trucks were sent. Besides, there were days when not a single truck was sent to supply the produce to other states.

from The Tribune https://ift.tt/2RAaEyM

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