Farmers struggle despite bumper harvest at Warangal
Warangal: They toil hard in the fields, finally when they sense a bountiful harvest after overcoming all the hurdles, what they take home is pittance. ...
Warangal: They toil hard in the fields, finally when they sense a bountiful harvest after overcoming all the hurdles, what they take home is pittance. Such was the fate of the farmers. Even though it was claimed to be one of the best seasons for the farmers who by and large stand to reap a bumper harvest, the ground reality seems to be something different that likely to shatter their dreams.
The factors that decide the fate of the farmers range from harvesting to pocketing the returns play a very crucial role. Adding more woes to farmers was the lockdown enforced by the life-threatening coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic that paralysed almost all the sectors in the country.
With the paddy harvesting peaking in erstwhile Warangal district, a majority of farmers are in search of hiring harvesting machines. The number of harvesting machines in the region is less compared to others. Taking advantage of this, the operators who in the past had charged Rs 1,800 per hour from the farmers have now increased the tariff to anywhere between Rs 2,000 and Rs 2,500 per hour.
Lingala Chittaranjan of Pegadapally village under Hasanparthy mandal in Warangal Urban district said: "Somehow, I managed to hire a harvesting machine and reaped paddy recently. The operators hiked the tariff by Rs 300 per hour compared to last year." Another farmer P Amarender Reddy of Upparapally under Chennaraopet mandal in Warangal Rural district said that it was difficult to hire a harvesting machine.
Speaking to The Hans India, Rythu Sangham Warangal Rural District General Secretary Peddarapu Ramesh said: "With coronavirus lockdown in place, the government would have planned much better to procure paddy from the farmers. In addition to the shortage of harvesting machines, the farmers are also facing problems to store their produce. The hapless farmers also being exploited in the name of moisture content in the produce. They are losing two to three kilogrammes of paddy per bag at the procurement centres."
On the other hand, the authorities are also directing the farmers to fetch gunny bags on their own. It may be mentioned here that due to lockdown, shortage of gunny bags has become a common phenomenon in the State. Although the authorities are saying that they would pay Rs 23.50 per gunny bag to the farmers, the cost of each bag is anywhere between Rs 27 and Rs 30 in the open market.