Crops & vegetables rot in Karbi Anglong due to COVID-19 lockdown

Correspondent Diphu Apr 15 | Publish Date: 4/15/2020 8:28:23 AM IST

Amid growing intensity of COVID issues related to managing harvested crops and vegetable have cropped up in Karbi Anglong, particularly due to the absence of cold storage or proper disposal system.

According to information received, vegetable cultivators in Karbi Anglong are facing hardship due to extension of nationwide lockdown. Prices of vegetables have rocketed and vegetables locally produced are rotting due to the transport bottleneck resulting in   unsold vegetables thrown away.

In Diphu, headquarter town of Karbi Anglong Autonomous districts, the prices of vegetables have increased  by 50 to 100%; potatoes sold in retail at Rs 20 to Rs 25 per kg earlier has shot up to Rs 30per kg. Similarly, cabbage sold at Rs 40 per kg was sold at Rs 30 before the lockdown. Chili earlier sold at Rs 80 per kg was  is sold at Rs 120 to Rs 200 per kg. Tomatoes, most common vegetable which had no buyers even at Rs 3 a kg was sold at Rs 40 per kg in Diphu. The end result is that the farmers of the two hill districts are suffering and many are in alarmed about repaying their bank loans.

Nimai Sinha, a tomato cultivator of Natun Basti, Bakalia one of the best agricultural zone of the district lamented after damage of his harvested crop. “My tomatoes have got damaged as the markets have not opened. I have taken KCC loan to cultivate vegetables but in this situation how will I pay repay my loan.”

Satyaranjan Sinha, another cultivator of same village said he had lost lakhs of rupees. Among the effected are Paresh Das, Hejuram Das, Noni Das, Sankar Das, Harekrishna Singh and hundreds of others facing a tough time. Till now, Agriculture Department functioning under Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council has not come up with any support plan for the cultivators. 

In Bokajan sub-division, during the first ten days of the lockdown, vegetables rotted in the stall as the markets suddenly closed. 

Retailers and growers sufferers the most.  Market has stabilized now but prices of organic vegetables have gone up by 50% to 80%. In Baithalangso, West Karbi Anglong, most vegetable growers are selling directly to consumers at a cheaper price.


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