Ganesh Chetry, Prakash Chetry, Chandra Sekhar Newar, Sankar Payeng and Raju Newar are all worried farmers of Lakhimpur as heaps of pineapples that they have harvested are rotting in their fields.
They are some of the 180 families that have been involved in growing pineapples in Tariayani region of the Lakhimpur district for a long period of time.
July, being the harvesting season of the famed ‘Tariyani pineapple’, these farmers could not supply their produce to the local and outside markets due to imposition of Covid19 lockdown in Lakhimpur district since July 7, 2021.
Lamenting for their loss due to the Covid19 pandemic, these farmers, whose sole livelihood activity is pineapple growing, are facing a bleak prospects of their hard labour.
Taryani region under Kadam Revenue Circle of Lakhimpur district is famous for its organic pineapples grown in 293 hectares of land under Kadam Revenue Circle of Lakhimpur district.
All the 180 families of the region have 10 to 12 bighas of pineapple plantation and they supply the fruits to as far as West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh and various parts of Assam.
The annual income from pineapple production by these farmers ranges from Rs. 1 lakh to Rs 2 lakh.
But as transport services are suspended due to the lockdown they could not send the pineapples to the markets.
It is a heartening experience for them to see their harvested pineapples getting rotten during the height of the market season.
“We use to buy food from grocery stores in credit and repay them after the sale of our pineapples annually. But the lockdown has shattered our livelihood,” said a pineapple grower of Tariyani region.
The Tariyani pineapple farmers appealed to the district authority to provide adequate facilities in selling and transporting their products on time during the lockdown period.
Meanwhile, the fruit dealers in North Lakhimpur said they have faced problems in collecting pineapples from Tariyani due to strict enforcement of the Covid19 lockdown.