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Acute shortage of labourers affects harvesting of rabi crops across NCR & Western UP

Acute shortage of labourers affects harvesting of rabi crops across NCR & Western UP

New Delhi: Acute shortage of laboures has affected harvesting of rabi and other agricultural crops in lands spread over lakhs of hectares across NCR and other districts of Western Uttar Pradesh. The farmers, whose final crops are ready for harvest, are facing difficulties to arrange local workforce due to lockdown restrictions and hence are about to rot in the fields.

The saddest part is that majority of them are small farmers who borrow money at local level and store food grains for their family.

According the farmers, rabi crops are sown around mid-November and harvesting begins in April and ends till May. Since shutdown, they have failed to manage adequate number of labrourers. Now when almost a week has been passed, the distressed farmers are uncertain about their future.

"The major rabi crop is wheat, followed by mustard and peas. Most of the agriculture crops produced are seasonal and hence we need workforce to manage the entire affair," explained a farmer from Ghaziabad.

"We are upset due to unprecedented delay. We will have to bear loss if our crops are not harvested. Many farmers who have small piece of lands and local workers, who are in their homes due to curfew like situation, will have to face crisis as they will not be able to stock adequate quantity of food grains for consumption," said Ajaypal Nagar, a farmer from a Greater Noida village.

"For all kinds of agricultural activities, adequate labour force is required. If harvesting does not take place, supply of wheat and other items in mandis will not be ensured on time. Also, planting of new crops will not take place on time. Hence, the entire chain will be disrupted. Though the government agencies have assured to provide assistance, we will have to wait for some major relief," said another farmer from a village in Noida.

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