Covid-19: New restrictions worry Maharashtra farmers

Joseph B. Hash

Maharashtra government’s determination on Friday to announce a night time curfew from nine p.m. to 6 a.m. in check out of a climbing variety of Covid-19 situations has set the farming community in a worry. Even as the governing administration has not set any constraints on agriculture activities, farmers who are presently battered by unseasonal rains say that disruption in the economic cycle will have an impact on them in a massive way.

“ During earlier lockdowns the governing administration permitted seed, pesticide, fertiliser stores to keep on being open up. Even other activities have been permitted but sowing and harvesting activities have been highly-priced affairs simply because of the scarcity of labour. Also, pretty few farmers have been able to get their items directly to the shoppers as markets have been closed”, stated Yogesh Ugale, a farmer in Nashik. He fears that additional constraints or lockdowns will incur losses to tiny onion farmers like him as institutions like dining places and student hostels who get onions from him will halt purchasing through the lockdown.

Even as governing administration claims that inter and intra Point out motion of farm equipment primarily merged harvesters have been facilitated, farmers say that they confronted main challenges simply because of various constraints set by the area authorities.

“Agricultural activities ongoing through earlier lockdowns but if lockdowns are imposed again, it would be tricky for us to survive. Many farmers are presently reeling underneath financial loan burdens due to losses in floods and rains. We require some time to get well,” stated Baba Sawat, a farmer from Sangli.

Credit rating considerations

The Union Agriculture Ministry advised Lok Sabha not long ago that through the to start with wave of Covid-19 pandemic, the governing administration prolonged the date of renewal of shorter time period agriculture financial loans that had grow to be due or would have grow to be due among March one, 2020 and August 3, 2020 up to August 21, 2020 with the commensurate gain of two for every cent interest subvention and 3 for every cent prompt reimbursement incentive up to prolonged date.

During the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic (2021), the governing administration prolonged the date of renewal of the shorter time period agriculture financial loan which had grow to be due or would have grow to be due among March one, 2021 and June 30, 2021 up to June 30, 2021 with the commensurate gain of two for every cent interest subvention and 3 for every cent prompt reimbursement incentive up to prolonged date.

“There is a substantial variety of farmers who are out of institutional credit method. Also, those people who are part of the formal credit method are not in a situation to repay financial loans. Situation in rural parts is presently bad and it would grow to be worse if lockdown is imposed. The economy of the area largely relies upon on agriculture and allied activities and Covid has presently disturbed our economic cycle. Farmers are not in a situation to deal with another lockdown,” states Sunanda Kharate, a farmer from Osmanabad.

Sugarcane cutters

New constraints by the Point out governing administration have also panicked sugarcane cutters in western Maharashtra. “The governing administration has started off imposing constraints and these constraints could maximize. The sugarcane period is however on and we really don’t know if we have to return back again to our villages,” states Tukaram, a sugarcane cutter doing the job in Mhaisal. During the previous Covid-19 wave sugarcane cutters carry on to do the job as they feared dropping the do the job and money.

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