The wheat crop is ready in the fields to be harvested, but the difficulty is that due to the lockdown, laborers are not getting. In such a situation, the farmer is also worried about sowing the next crop.

Farmers in heavy crisis, laborers are not getting to harvest wheat crop
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Baghpat: The apprehension of extending the 21-day lockdown applicable to combat the Kovid-19 epidemic in the country after April 14 has drawn worry lines on farmers' foreheads. Worried about not being able to harvest the sugarcane crop due to the current shutdown, the farmer is now also worried about the almost ready standing crop of wheat. Due to the lack of labor due to the shutdown, where it is not able to find any means of harvesting wheat, the situation of availability of wheat extracting machines (thresher) is also not visible. In fact, threshing machines mostly come to western UP from areas like Punjab and Rajasthan during the wheat harvesting season and do the work of extracting crops on rent, but these states are also under lockdown.

Significantly, the Odisha government extended the lockdown (shutdown) on Thursday till April 30 to prevent the spread of corona virus. At the same time it has also requested the Central Government to extend the period of bandh. Countrywide bandh was implemented by the central government from 25 March, which is to end on 14 April. According to the District Sugarcane Department, at the time of crushing in the mills, there was a sugarcane crop in about 72 thousand hectare area in the district. At present, about 30 per cent of sugarcane (about 1 million tonnes) is still standing in the fields.

Farmer leader Brajpal Singh, resident of Baraut, says that due to the bandh, about half of the sugarcane crop of many farmers is still standing in the field, but due to a bandh, laborers are not getting any time to peel the sugarcane from above. - Even if the sugarcane is peeled at night, there is no arrangement to put it on the mill. He said that since the shutdown, sugar mills are not releasing cane slips. Brajpal said that the bandh has increased this crisis further, because most of the crushers making jaggery are also closed due to labor crisis and no sale of jaggery. In such a situation the farmer cannot put his sugarcane here either. Although the crushers are running, they are giving the price of sugarcane at Rs 180 to 200 per quintal while the support price of sugarcane is being given by the mill at Rs 319 per quintal.

Farmer Rammehar Singh, a resident of Baraut, says that the workers are not going to the farm for fear of Corona virus infection. With this, along with sugarcane crop, now they are also very worried about the harvesting of wheat. Rammehar said that on the one hand the government is not allowing more than five people to gather in the name of social distancing, due to which the laborers are not getting in the field, there are long lines of laborers outside the banks, who are spending their thousand rupees. Are accumulating to find out the amount of. This amount is being deposited in the accounts by the government. When these people can go to the bank, then why can't they work in the fields by following social distancing.

On the other hand, District Magistrate Shakuntala Gautam claimed that there is no restriction on farmers to go to the fields and work in Baghpat. District situation is better than surrounding districts (Meerut, Ghaziabad, Gautam Budh Nagar) due to Corona virus infection and hence the workers' crisis is not that kind here. The workers are working in the fields here, keeping the distance from social gathering. Farmer Shivkishore Sharma, a resident of Badarkha (Chhaprauli), said that about one-third of his sugarcane crop (eight bigha sugarcane) is standing in the field whereas till now the sugarcane should have been chilled and sown on the next crop. He said that the sugarcane mill is expected to release the porch soon and in the hope that along with other members of the family, they are peeling sugarcane every day.

With this, Shivkishore said that the harvesting of sugarcane will be delayed once, but now the real problem has arisen with the harvesting of wheat. The crop is almost ready, but how it will be cut and transported to home is not understood. Farmer Sanjeev, a resident of Khekra, said that the biggest problem that farmers face before harvesting wheat is thresher machines. Sanjeev said that barring one or two farmers in every village, almost everyone is dependent on wheat extracting machines on rent in every season.

Sanjeev says that a large number of thresher machine operators from Alwar and Tijara in Rajasthan come here for threshing wheat with their machines. These people extract wheat on rent, but this time it is not possible due to lockdown, so what would be the option? Sanjeev said that under the rough estimate only 100 to 150 machines come in the Khekra block and their number in the entire district is around 500-1000. Sanjeev demanded the government to allow laborers to work in the fields by creating social distancing (distance from social gathering).

Another farmer from Khekra, Binder said that prices of urea and dye have increased after the lockdown. The urea bag which was earlier priced at Rs 270 in the market has now gone up by Rs 100. DAP prices have also increased. Binder said that there has been a jump of Rs 300 to 400 per bag at the local level in the price of animal feed such as khal, chowkar etc. Khal's bag which was earlier Rs 1200 has now been valued at Rs 1600, whereas the bag of Khal which was Rs 1500 is now available for Rs 2000.
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