Lockdown hits paddy harvest in erstwhile Nizamabad

Farmers depend on harvesters, operators and labour from other States

Farmers are worried about the paddy that is ready to harvest with shortage of men and machinery due to the ongoing lockdown. The delay in harvesting will result in financial loss to farmers as untimely rains likely to occur during summer may damage the crop.

The lockdown badly affected movement of workers and vehicles like harvesters and trucks for transport of grain. A large number of harvesting machines and their drivers and cleaners arrive from different States for every harvest season.

Though some local rich farmers have harvesting machines they would not be sufficient to cut the crop transplanted in over 4 lakh acres in the composite district of Nizamabad. About 1,500 harvesters, run on tracks, are brought from Karnataka during the kharif and almost half of them in yasangi. Harvesters that run on tyres are available locally and some in Karimnagar, and hence there is not much difficulty to get them.

However, the track-mounted harvesters are in high demand as there is no wastage of crop with them. Moreover, they are suitable to ayacut lands which are marshy even after crop comes to the harvest. “Only chain vehicles are preferable in Nizamsagar ayacut and along the Godavari and if government doesn’t allow them to come from Karnataka farmers would be jittery,” said Parvataneni Charan Gopal who provides vehicles locally, bringing them on contract basis.

If the machines are in shortage demand would be high and machine owners may insist on higher price per acre. “In the last kharif per acre price for cutting had gone up to ₹2,250 and this season if harvesters are not available it may go beyond ₹3,000. Government needs to take initiative at a high-level to ensure the availability of adequate number of machines,” said Mr. Charan.

A farmer in Sirikonda mandal, Vidyasagar Reddy, feel that unless Punjabi drivers and hamalis from Bihar are not allowed to come the crop cutting, grain transport, loading and unloading would get affected.

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Printable version | May 31, 2020 9:05:43 AM |

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