Labour shortage worries farmers

K. Sangameswar is a farmer from Muslapur in Alladurg mandal of Medak district. He has about two acres of land. To remove the weed in his farm, Mr Sangameswar was forced to pay ₹800 per day, whereas for the same they used to pay ₹400 per day in the past season.

In areas like Kishtareddypet and Sultanpur in Sangareddy, farmers are paying ₹800 to ₹1,000 per day, depending on the day’s demand. This situation prevailed at many places in the erstwhile Medak district last week. Scarcity of farm hands was stated to be the reason for hike in charges. This was observed more where transplantation of paddy is taking place.

Farmers say that they need at least 10 labourers to transplant on an acre of land which comes to an expenditure ₹8,000 and ₹10,000.

Labourers are being hired from places wherever they are available. This is adding to the cost as the farmers were forced to pay the transport expenditure as well.

Even hiring tractors for farm work has become costlier as petrol price has increased. It was stated that tractor owners were charging about ₹1,800 per acre whereas in the past it was around ₹1,200 per acre.

“Labour charges are normal at places like Atmakur where farm hands are sufficiently available,” said Mallikarjun, a farmer from Atmakur.

“In the last summer, we offered ₹5,000 for transplantation of paddy per acre. Now they are asking for ₹6,000 per acre stating that in the neighbouring village same amount is being offered. The demand is changing from village to to village. Paddy was sown on about five acres and the payment was still pending. I told the labour I will give what others in the village pay,” said Malla Reddy, another farmer from Shivampet.

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Printable version | Sep 28, 2021 10:30:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/labour-shortage-worries-farmers/article35564352.ece

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