Kerala

Closure of hill produce shops hits farmers, traders hard

The abrupt closure of shops by hill produce merchants following the COVID-19 restrictions has put hundreds of farmers in the district, a major coffee and spices growing region in the State, in a fix.

Usually, the farmers pay the wages of the workers on weekends after selling the hill produce such as pepper, ginger, and coffee. But many a time, the farmers could not sell the produce owing to the closure of markets where triple lockdown has been imposed.

Triple lockdown has been in force in 14 grama panchayats and many divisions of the three municipalities in the district to contain the spread of the pandemic.

“We have closed our shops for the past one week owing to the restrictions,” said Abdurrahman, a hill produce dealer here.

Such a closure was adversely affecting both the trading and farming communities, he said.

If the authorities exempted the hill produce shops as in the case of vegetable shops, it would be a great help to the farming and trading communities, he said.

The prices of the perishable goods such as ginger and ‘nendran’ variety of plantain have declined sharply owing to the uncertainties in the market.

Hit by the crisis, some of the traders have started to procure produce like plantain from farms directly, but payment is made only after two or three weeks.

The crisis has hit the ginger farmers the worst as the produce has had no demand in the market for the past few weeks owing to the pandemic restrictions.


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Printable version | Oct 27, 2021 11:07:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/closure-of-hill-produce-shops-hits-farmers-traders-hard/article36237132.ece

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