Wheat harvest worries Ambala farmers in absence of labourers
In Ambala district, wheat is cultivated over around 87,000 hectares of land.Updated: Mar 31, 2020, 21:41 IST
With harvesting of wheat on the anvil, farmers here are an anxious lot in the absence of labourers for the job.
Yashpal, a farmer from Majri village, said his crop — over 20 acres of land — will be ready for harvest within a week. “Though most of the work is done using combine machines, I would need at least a dozen labourers for the manual tasks. But this seems nearly impossible as more than half of the labourers have returned to their native villages in Uttar Pradesh and the remaining are busy with sugarcane harvesting. On top of this, untimely rains this month have played a spoilt sport and delayed the process,” he said.
In Ambala district, wheat is cultivated over around 87,000 hectares of land.
Another farmer, Sukhbir of village Sonti at the other end of the district is also worried. He used to get labourers from nearby villages earlier, but is unsure to find some amid the ongoing lockdown. He owns 15 acres of land.
Bhartiya Kisan Union state president Rattan Mann said, “Farm labourers have already left for their native places and won’t be able to return during the procurement process. In such a scenario, the state government should procure the crop manually, as used to be done earlier.”
Meanwhile, district food supply controller (DFSC) Nishant Rathee said, “The procurement of mustard is expected to begin by April 15 and that of wheat will start by April 20. These dates were delayed by the government keeping in mind the ongoing lockdown. The harvesting is likely to get delayed because of the changing weather. At the moment, we are busy with the distribution of food packages among the needy, besides spreading awareness about coronavirus, as directed by the administration.”