Karnataka

Currency crisis ahead of harvest season has farmers worried

left in the lurch:The impact of demonetistion would have been more if the agricultural season in Mysuru district was good, say farmers.— FILE PHOTO

left in the lurch:The impact of demonetistion would have been more if the agricultural season in Mysuru district was good, say farmers.— FILE PHOTO  

They don’t have enough low denomination notes to pay the labourers

Farmers in some parts of Kabini command area in the district are wondering how to pay the labourers who come to harvest their paddy crop (in the irrigated areas) in the aftermath of the currency crisis.

With most banks dispensing only Rs. 2,000 notes and with a limit on withdrawal, farmers are in a state of worry as they don’t have enough low denomination notes to make the payments.

The impact would have been more if the agricultural season in the district was good and the areas had not been under the grip of drought, they felt.

“Already, traders from neighbouring States have cut down on the purchase of vegetables owing to the cash crunch. Also, prices of most vegetables have fallen. Though the long-term benefits of demonetisation could be more, farmers are not spared from the immediate impact of the move,” Kurubur Shanthakumar, president, Karnataka Sugarcane Growers’ Association, said.

Mr. Shanthakumar, also a sugarcane and paddy grower, told The Hindu that farmers are unable to go to banks to exchange cash and withdraw money ahead of the harvest season. In some places, vegetables have remained unsold with traders not buying the produce for want of cash.

Some farmers don’t have the money to buy fertilizers for their standing crop. All these have impacted the price of farmers’ produce, he said.

Devaraj, a farmer from Attahalli in Bannur hobli, said farmers may face cash crunch when the paddy crop comes for harvest. It may not be a problem for farmers with big land holdings, but will be an issue for those with small land holdings who cannot afford to go for harvester machines.

“I myself had a few old Rs. 500 notes. But I could not go to the bank for exchange because of the rush and work in the fields. Difficulty in getting the change for Rs. 2,000 has also affected day-to-day work,” he said.

Mr. Devaraj, however, hoped that the situation would ease by next week when paddy growers become busy for the harvest season. “By and large, harvest of most crops is over ... otherwise the impact would have been more owing to the lack of cash to pay farm workers,” he added.

While welcoming the Union government’s move for a special withdrawal provision for farmers, Mr. Devaraj said many farmers in his area feel that the crunch might ease only when the new Rs. 500 currency is made available.



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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 7:55:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/Currency-crisis-ahead-of-harvest-season-has-farmers-worried/article16670237.ece

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