Ganjam: Vegetable farmers in Ganjam block in this district are at a huge loss following the 21-days lockdown. They have urged the state government to waive off their loans.
A three-week lockdown across the country aimed at stopping coronavirus is preventing perishables from reaching the destination markets and forcing some farmers to feed their ripening produce to their animals instead.
The breakdown in the supply chain is especially hurting hundreds of thousands of poor farmers in the state.
This year Ganjam farmers cultivated okras, brinjals and especially tomatoes in huge quantities. Most of the vegetables have not reached the market and are beginning to rot in the fields itself.
These farmers belong to Jharedi, Baredi, Sipikuda, Sana Ramchandrapur, Radha Govindpur and Subalaya villages under Ganjam block. The farmers are now forced to sell their farm produced at a throwaway price. While brinjals retail at Rs 7 per kilogram, tomatoes go for Rs 5 a kilogram.
Massive losses are also leading to non-payment of loans, which the farmers have taken from banks and other lenders. Several farmers have approached Ganjam district administration seeking loan waiver.