VIJAYAWADA: Horticulture farmers are likely to suffer losses as exports have come to a standstill with the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, which was followed by a state-wide lockdown.
Even though the authorities said they will have to assess the situation, they however, admitted that the sector will be subjected to huge losses in case there was no improvement in the underlying situation in the near future.
Speaking to TNIE, horticulture commissioner Chiranjeevi Chowdary said the produce has demand in both international and domestic markets. "At present, exporting the produce and supplying them in the local markets has been halted, not just because of the lockdown, but also due to the shutting of inter-state borders," he said.
Stating that all options to minimise the losses were being considered, he said the farmers were being advised to postpone the harvesting of certain produce, such as banana and sweet lemon by a week and a month, respectively.
For tomatoes and similar crops, for which the harvesting cannot be delayed, the farmers were advised to complete the procedure in time. Adding that mango, banana, okra, drumsticks and curry leaves were in demand in international markets, he said as the harvesting season of mango was yet to commence, losses to the farmers will depend on how long the restrictions in the country continued.