As the deadly pandemic of Coronavirus has caused the government to impose lockdown across the nation, the horticulture and floriculture farmers in Karnataka have suffered a heavy loss due to labour shortage, lack of transport and buyers according to Karnataka Congress President DK Shivakumar.
While speaking with a news agency, Shivakumar quoted Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa who claimed no farmer or grower would suffer due to lockdown, however, Shivakumar added that hundreds of them in the state are reeling under losses as their produce is perishing due to labour shortage, absence of transport and buyers at the market.
Shivakumar opined that the florists and horticulture farmers export their produce besides supplying to Bengaluru, however, due to lockdown and ban on international transport they are not only unable to export them, but see them perishing in their farms. Shivakumar expounded that no official from the state government has visited them to know their plight.
He appended that since the chief minister comes from a farmer's family his priority should be the welfare of farmers and growers amid the crisis situation, as they have no other means of earning income, adding that the state government should arrange farm labour, transport and support price to ensure the farmers and growers get remunerative price for their produce in the market.
Although Karnataka has to not officially announced the extension of the lockdown, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Saturday said the lockdown in place to control the spread of COVID-19 will be extended for two more weeks adding that Central government will issue further guidelines on the extension. The state has reported 247 COVID-19 positive cases, of which 9 have succumbed to the virus while 59 have been cured and discharged.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to address the nation on April 14 at 10 am regarding the further measures decided by the Centre to battle the deadly pandemic which has taken the world hostage. Besides Karnataka, other states such as Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Telangana, Meghalaya, Puducherry, Arunachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu have decided the continue the lockdown.