Banana farmers in Shivamogga say their crop is rotting and they are incurring huge losses amid lockdown due to COVID-19.
The farmers alleged that although permission has been granted for the sale of agricultural products, with inter-district movements being affected, the local buyers are forcing the farmers to sell their produce at ridiculously low prices.
"Local buyers are asking us to sell bananas at Rs 4-5 per kg which is impossible for us. I do not know what we can do," Vijayendra, a farmer told ANI here.
"We expected the markets to be good during the summer season, I have cultivated bananas in four acres of land. There are thousands of other farmers who cultivate it in smaller hoardings," he added.
The farmer further implored the government to ensure there is an open market and inter-district movement of agricultural produce is allowed to ensure the farmers get the right price.
Vijayendra also said that the bananas have started rotting as they were not being harvested due to the lockdown.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had last month announced a 21-day lockdown in the entire country effective from March 24 midnight to deal with the spread of coronavirus, saying that "social distancing" is the only option to deal with the disease, which spreads rapidly.
There is also the likelihood that the nationwide lockdown might further be extended even after the completion of the 21-day period on April 14, based on the statements from several chief ministers following a video conference with the Prime Minister held a few days earlier.
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