The farmers in Udalguri district of Assam are facing lot of hardships, selling their seasonal produce -watermelon due to the curfew and restrictions in inter district movement declared by the state government in an effort to curb the coronavirus pandemic.
Mazbat legislator Charan Boro has urged Assam Chief Minister – Himanta Biswa Sarma and Agriculture Minister – Atul Bora to compensate the under distress watermelon cultivators of the district.
The watermelon cultivators have incurred massive losses this year owing to the partial lockdown and restrictions in inter district transport and movement of people.
In his letter, MLA Boro pointed out that around 7600 educated youths in Udalguri district of Assam had cultivated watermelon in over 3600 hectares of land, producing nearly 76000 Metric tons of watermelon out of which nearly 35,500 Metric tons of produce are lying in fields awaiting buyers.
He also requested the government to make special arrangements for the sale of the produce and compensate their losses.
“Cultivators are facing difficulties to sell their produce amid the partial lockdown and are also facing severe financial losses. While a section has managed to sell their produce to some middle men at very low rates, many are yet to sell their produce,” said award winning cultivator – Abhinash Daimari of Udalguri, who is also the President of Udalguri Farmers’ Co-operative Society.
Echoing the plight of the cultivators he said, “Who will listen to our woes? The media have highlighted our plight but the government have turned deaf ears to the same”
“I had grown watermelon in 4.5 bighas of land and the production was nearly 17 tons but owing to the pandemic situation and curfew I sold them to middlemen at Rs 4 per kg. But many of our fellow cultivators are facing difficulties in selling their produce,” said Sundar Boro of Udalguri.
“The entire farming community is looking up to the government for help,” Boro added.