No takers for their goods, Karnataka farmers pushed over edge
Though the state has announced that farmers should not face problems harvesting, selling or transporting vegetables and fruits, farmers continue to face harassment by the local police.
Published: 20th April 2020 03:29 AM | Last Updated: 20th August 2021 04:11 PM | A+A A-
MYSURU: The COVID-19 lockdown has triggered a fresh wave of distress for farmers in Mysuru region, with four farmers committing suicide since the government announced measures to contain the pandemic.
A tomato grower and a bean farmer who could not sell their produce took the extreme step in Mysuru and Mandya districts, while another farmer, who had grown watermelon, also ended his life recently.
Though the state has announced that farmers should not face problems harvesting, selling or transporting vegetables and fruits, farmers continue to face harassment by the local police.The sealed inter-district borders have made the situation worse for the agri-community. A farmer, Chandru, had to reach out to officials in Nanjangud and Chamarajanagar to get permission to harvest his banana crop near Suttur and transport it to Kerala.
The Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS) fears the number of suicides may go up if the government fails to intervene. KRRS president Badagalapura Nagendra said that farmers have suffered losses of Rs 50,000 crore because of the lockdown and demanded that the state government invite Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh governments to purchase the produce directly from farmers. Otherwise, the state government can purchase it and transport it to other states.
KRRS office-bearers will hold a protest in front government offices on Monday to draw the government’s attention. State Sugarcane Growers’ Association president Kurbur Shanthakumar said that poor supply chain and marketing by the government has pushed farmers into the death trap. Cooperation Minister ST Somashekar said the government will make efforts to see that the farm produce is sold. Officials have been directed to visit fields and assess the loss which will be paid directly to farmers, he said.