Lack of awareness adds to farmers' woes amid COVID-19 in Meghalaya

Farmers in Meghalaya lack awareness on various government schemes and assistance, and the failure of the government to educate and reach out to the illiterate farmers have added to their misery.

Lack of markets and awareness on government aid amid the COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected farmers in Meghalaya.

The farmers lack awareness on various government schemes and assistance, and the failure of the government to educate and reach out to the illiterate farmers have added to their misery.

Skhemborland Kurkalang of Mawpynthih village expressed various hardships he is going through as a farmer during this pandemic.

“In my 25-30 years as a farmer I have never felt such a great loss," the farmer said. "One of the major reasons this year is the closure of Iewduh market and so the lack of market to sell our vegetables,” he added.

Skhemborland Kurkalang also said that he had already incurred a massive loss of over Rs 50, 000 to Rs 60, 000 in his pandemic because he cannot sell his vegetables that keep rotting on the farm.

“I am now clueless about what to do with these vegetables that are ready to be harvested. The price of cabbage and cauliflower last month crashed from Rs 12-Rs 15 to Rs 3-Rs 4 and has just started to pick up again in the past few days,” he said adding that incessant rain has also ravaged a huge quantity of his crops.

Informing that the price of Urea is now about Rs 650-Rs 700 for a bag of 50 kilos, he said, “I need about a ton of urea for my farm that is about more than an acre and also pays four to five labourers about Rs 350-Rs 400 daily.”

“We are illiterate people and we don’t know whom to approach for help and assistance", he added. 

He then said that the people from the government should come and visit the farmers and see their plight in the field and help them because they are the one who produces the vegetables for the consumption of all and the farmers should be respected. Skhemborland Kurkalang  added that he won’t be able to pay his bank loan this year if this situation continues.

First Published:Aug. 4, 2020, 11:55 p.m.