Pampore: Farmers in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district are harvesting the pea crop but due to the Covid lockdown, most mandis are shut and there is no transport to send it even outside the district. Farmers in Patalbagh village of Pulwama said that they exported peas outside Kashmir to markets as far as Bangalore, Haryana, Delhi and Punjab.
“This year, mandis in these cities are shut or have reduced their operations, which has decreased demand for pea,” said Irshad Ahmad , a young farmer in Patalbagh.
He said that due to the low demand, agents are paying “peanuts” for the peas.
“We get rupees 20 for one kilogram of pea, which is much less than the prices we got last year,” he said, adding that last year farmers sold their crop at 45 rupees per kg.
Ahmad and other farmers appealed to the government to facilitate them in selling their pea crop at competitive rates, so that they are saved from heavy losses.
Patalbagah is a model village for growing vegetables. Hundreds of families here cultivate pea on 1150 kanals of land. This year has yielded a bumper crop but brokers are offering very poor rates.
Director of Agriculture, Kashmir, Altaf Aijaz Andrabi told Kashmir Reader that they nodal officers have been appointed in each district to facilitate farmers in selling their crop at good prices.
“The farmers should sell their pea crop at the rate of 30 rupees per kg. if they are paid less than this amount, they should contact the nodal officers,” he said.