02 June 2021, Indore: The strict lockdown due to Covid-19 pandemic in Madhya Pradesh has been adversely affecting the farming community. The vegetable mandis (market) remain closed for more than a month now. Vegetable farmers are forced to feed the crop either to cattle or run tractor over the field. Even the farmers with diverse cropping are seeing such situations.
Due to limited number of marriages and low demand of flowers, floriculture farmers have run into losses amounting to lakhs. A video went viral over the social media where a tractor was driven on the flower crop by a progressive farmer from Shipra, Madhya Pradesh. Mr. Anil Patel, an agricultural graduate of Kshipra, who is seen driving a tractor on flower crops, told Krishak Jagat that he cultivates about 15 acres of land having a mix of vegetables, fruits, flowers and plantation crops. He recently planted Gerbera purchased from Maharashtra in polyhouse. About 27 thousand saplings were planted in one acre, which cost lakhs. Since then, the mandis remained closed due to the lock down and marriages were also less, due to which flowers could not be sold as there is less demand. The flowering season lasts for two to three months which has gone in lockdown.
Mr. Patel said that seeing no income from these flowers, he had to run a tractor over it. This saved the labour cost of plucking the flowers but still has amounted to a loss of about 6 lakhs.
Gerbera flowers are used in bouquets, a piece of which is sold for one and a half to two rupees. He now plans to plant chillies and tomatoes in its place in hope that mandis would open up in the coming months.