Left Menu
Development News Edition

Indian farmers feed strawberries to cattle as lockdown hits transport

Reuters | New Delhi | Updated: 02-04-2020 13:06 IST | Created: 02-04-2020 12:55 IST
Indian farmers feed strawberries to cattle as lockdown hits transport
Representative Image Image Credit: Pixabay

As hundreds of millions of Indians remain locked down to stem the spread of coronavirus, some of its cattle are getting treated to strawberries and broccoli that farmers are struggling to transport and sell in cities amid the three-week lockdown.

Demand for such premium farm produce typically jumps in the summer, but with India's farm supply chain in disarray, farmers are unable to get goods to market. The sudden drop in demand is hurting millions of farmers in the world's second-most populous country, with coronavirus cases surging to more than 1,900 in India, while the death toll rose to 50 on Wednesday.

"Tourists and ice cream producers are the main buyers of strawberries, but there are no tourists now," said Anil Salunkhe, while feeding strawberries are grown in his two-acre farm to his cows in Satara district, some 250 km (155 miles) south-east of Mumbai. He was hoping to make 800,000 rupees ($10,600), but now has not even recovered the production cost of around 250,000 rupees, as it has become tough to transport produce to large cities.

Munishamappa, a farmer near India's IT hub of Bengaluru, dumped 15 tonnes of grapes in a nearby forest after failing to sell them - he had spent 500,000 rupees on his crop. He had even asked nearby villagers to come to collect his fruit for free, but few turned up, he said.

Indian grapes are also exported to Europe, which has sharply cut purchases in the past few weeks as the virus takes a heavy toll there, said Dyanesh Ugle of Sahyadri Farms, the country's biggest grape exporter. Growers of expensive flowers such as gerbera, gladioli, and bird of paradise, meanwhile, are worried after weddings that typically generate the bulk of demand have gotten canceled.

"In summer, I sell one flower for 15 to 20 rupees. Now nobody is willing to buy even at 1 rupee," said Rahul Pawar, who owns a 2-acre flower farm, as he plucked flowers to dump them into a compost pit. Another flower grower Sachin Shelar says the bulk of his earnings come from the summer season, but sales have stalled during this crucial period.

Ajay Jadhav, who relies on upmarket restaurants to sell basil, iceberg lettuce and bok-choy grown on his three acres, said his fellow villagers won't take away the vegetables even for free. "I don't have a choice but to make manure out of these exotic vegetables," he said. "Rural folks don't even know the names of these vegetables. Forget about them cooking these."



In rebuking FBR, Pakistan’s courts take a stand for public health

The system, if implemented effectively, will allow Pakistans revenue service to combat the illicit trade in tobacco products and potentially add hundreds of millions of dollars to the states budget each year. ...

Dissecting how COVID-19 is catalyzing the trajectory of New World Order

The ensuing pandemic of COVID-19 has hit the globalization in two ways firstly, shrinking the importance of globalization as an economic force by curtailing mobility through worldwide lockdowns, and secondly, rejuvenating the idea of indig...

Domestic seafood trade in focus as COVID-19 changes market dynamics

As predicted earlier in a report titled Seafood industry post-COVID 19 An overhaul to trigger the growth of small fisheries, one of the changes going ahead would be increased focus on domestic seafood trade, driven by falling exports and su...

Migration post-COVID 19: Taking cues from the past to rebuild economies

Migrants are an irreplaceable part of even the essential workforce of developed countries and are on the frontline in the fight against the crisis, making an immeasurable contribution to saving the lives of natives with voting rights....


Latest News

EU should agree on cross-border travel

Spains Foreign Minister says that European Union members should agree to a common approach to open borders, reestablish freedom of travel in the Schengen Area and define which countries outside it should be considered safe to travel from an...

145 Shramik Special trains planned for Maharashta, state gave info on only 41 trains so far: Rlys

As the feud between the Maharashtra government and the Railways refuses to die down, the national transporter on Tuesday accused the state of not providing information about passengers as a result of which many Shramik Special trains could ...

Ather Energy partners with P2P scooter sharing platform

Mumbai, May 26 PTI Hero MotoCorp-backed Ather Energy has partnered with dockless mobility solution provider Bounce for a scooter sharing initiative Peer to Peer P2P with the pilot programme taking off from Bengaluru on Monday...

Tata Trusts ties up with 2 medical institutions for online training of staff to manage COVID-19

Tata Trusts on Tuesday said it has tied up with two medical institutions to assist some of their healthcare professionals augment skills in critical care in COVID-19 management through an online training. The philanthropic organisation has...

Give Feedback