Punjab farmer Jagtar Singh burns down his sugarcane crop out of sheer frustration

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Punjab farmer Jagtar Singh burns down his sugarcane crop out of sheer frustration

Unable to sell his crop, the morose farmer sets the field ablaze

Thursday, 2nd July 2020

A Punjab farmer; Jagtar Singh who owned a large sugarcane field was compelled to set the field on fire as he was terribly frustrated over not being able to take his crop to any processing plant due to coronavirus-induced lockdown. The farmer, as he told, somehow could sell off few of his sugarcane bundles to small sized juice vendors but even such vendors stopped coming in the course of the past 3 months as most of them returned to their hometowns in the midst of the lockdown.


The standing crops in his field that he had set aflame were worth Rs 5 lakh+. The Faridkot farmer informed that he had stopped selling sugarcane bundles to the juice sellers after he wasn’t receiving any customer…that, he said, had cut his income stream altogether.


When asked, he told to the NDTV reporters:"I planted sugarcane on two acres. The yield is worth over Rs 5 lakh since one acre gives about 400 quintals. The agriculture officials have not even contacted me... Since the sugar mill is closed in the area, I had to burn the field so that I can clear it and grow paddy here."


He further said:"The government should compensate for our loss,"


Other Faridkot farmers like him who own sugarcane fields of 2-4 acres usually make nearly Rs 2 lakhs per year by selling the canes to juice vendors if processing plants cannot be reached.


Many weeks post pan-India lockdown announcement towards the end of March, the state government of Punjab had committed of relieving farmers temporarily from imposed restrictions so that they could get the needed support for harvesting crops. However, limited transport options and clarity held farmers back from harvesting.


When the procurement of wheat started in Punjab this April 15th, the Punjab government made up its mind to initiate a system of tokens with the purpose of staggering the procedure and curbing the spread of the coronavirus infection.



Source: NDTV

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