'Farmers’ crisis will be eased soon'

'Farmers’ crisis will be eased soon'

K Rudresh

K Rudresh, Deputy Director, Horticulture department, said, “The department will take all measures to solve the problems faced by the farmers during the lockdown.”

Participating in the Deccan Herald - Prajavani phone-in programme, here on Tuesday, he assured that the purchase and transportation of fruits, vegetables and horticulture produce, would be improved in phases. There was good response to the programme with farmers from various taluks of Mysuru district, seeking solution to their problems.

To a query, Rudresh said that the purchase of vegetables at Horticultural Producers Cooperative Marketing and Processing Society (Hopcoms), which was eight tonne has increased to 23 tonne, for the benefit of small farmers.

The district largely produces tomatoes, robusta green bananas, chillies, gourds, cucumbers, capsicum, cabbage, yellow pumpkins and other vegetables and fruits. But, there is a problem to sell them, due to the current situation. Steps are taken to identify platforms and buyers. With the lockdown being relaxed at some places, farmers would get good price for their produce. The farmers can directly sell their produce to the people, he suggested.

Rudresh explained that 95% of the vegetables, fruits and horticulture produce are sold to the traders of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, at the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) yard in Bandipalya, Mysuru. The remaining 5% is supplied and utilised in Mysuru, he said.

However, with hotels closed, there is no demand for vegetables and fruits. Besides, the authorities have restricted the sales of agriculture produce to Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Thus, the demand for produce has crashed. The district has a stock of 70 tonne of coloured capsicum, he said.

Besides the restrictions, hundreds of lorries are transporting goods to the two neigbouring states. More than 300 tonne of vegetables have been transported. The important vegetables sent are tomatoes, yellow pumpkins, watermelons, gourds, cabbage and fruits. Chilles are transported to Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Odisha. Now, the department has taken steps to sell fruits and vegetables in the outlets of Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) also, he said.