KHAMMAM: As many as 1,000 papaya farmers belonging to erstwhile Khammam district are unable to sell their crops, owing to the current pandemic situation.
As a result of the nationwide lockdown, traders who used to come from other states, especially Delhi, have not shown up and the farmers are currently left in the lurch as the prices of papaya have fallen drastically in the local markets.
According to sources, the farmers had utilised around 1,500 acre of farmland in the erstwhile district to cultivate the crop. Considering its quality, every year, around this time, traders would come from New Delhi and purchase the crop from Khammam farmers.
However, the situation is not the same this year.
When Express interacted with a few farmers, they said that they spent around Rs 40,000 on each acre, expecting that they would get at least 50 tonnes of produce this year.
However, the untimely rains and the ongoing lockdown has left them in dire straits.
It has to be mentioned here that the papaya farmers, who are already reeling under problems were severely affected due to the recent sudden showers.
Meanwhile, even at a time when the farmers won’t get a huge profit if they sell the crop for Rs 10 to Rs 15 per kg, the papaya growers are forced to sell their produce for Rs 5 to Rs 6 per kg in the local markets, which will in no way help them get back the money they had invested this year.
Local papayas have a huge demand in New Delhi markets and as a result of this, the traders make a beeline to Khammam markets every year to purchase the crop at remunerative prices.
However, the traders did not show up this year due to the lockdown, said N Rana Rao, a farmer of Julurpad mandal.
Speaking to Express, district horticulture officer P Venkateswara Rao also noted that the sale of papaya has gone down drastically and added that they are doing the best they can to help the farmers.