While the government has relaxed logistics norms and allowed inter-state movement of trucks with some riders, transportation of agricultural commodities remained restricted. This restriction, on the other hand, has resulted in a jump in consumer prices.
Meanwhile, the matured wheat crop in hundreds of hectares in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh is waiting to get harvested. Similarly, horticultural crops — onion and seasonal fruits, including grapes, pineapple and mango, remain unharvested in Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh. Farmers are struggling to harvest green and leafy vegetables in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, and Gujarat.
“Harvesting of the matured agricultural crop cannot wait. Hence, unharvested crop, either because of labour shortage or logistics issue, is a clear wastage of farm produce. And based on their experience from these hardships, farmers would take a decision whether to sow the same crop or switch to some other remunerative crop next season,” said Vijay Sardana, a renowned expert in agricultural commodities.
The nationwide lockdown
to prevent the spread of coronavirus
has sent the agricultural and horticulture sector into a tizzy. Migrant workers, mostly from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and West Bengal, had started returning home after the restriction was imposed, resulting in a huge shortage of workforce.
Sabnavis says problems in the supply of farm commodities
will remain until the Covid-19 situation eases.