Urmul Trust

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Last but not the least, we are also mobilising resources for the farming sector to provide them with essentials as this source of livelihood is among the worst impacted during the lockdown. As we move further with new initiatives, we did an extensive study as to how this sector is affected. Dhannram Ji, an experienced farmer, Secretary of Urmul Khejadi briefs us about how the farmers are fighting a near-death crisis. “Coronavirus will have a drastic effect on the life of farmers in the coming days, especially because the lives of all farmers are dependent on farming and animal husbandry. Besides, the months of May and June are considered the time to sell the collected grain and animal feed. At the same time, people migrate for harvesting the Rabi crop, making it a major source of income for these farmers. With the good inflow of cash, they would also make other arrangements for the sowing of Kharif crops. Even the laborers and livestock owners earn a reasonable income from the farms during this period. But due to this epidemic, we couldn’t use any labourers for harvesting the crops; we couldn’t even use tractors for farming this year. But amidst the lockdown and all the instability it presents, the most affected ones are the small-scale farmers. In comparison, for these farmers, sowing Kharif crops turns out to be more tedious because the seeds and the entire process of sowing require cash inflow. In a place, that is drought-prone, famines are inevitable and farming is difficult yet a necessity. New provisions are initiated to provide relief for these farmers in need, but the relief has never reached the farmers. As a result, this time, the Kharif crop cannot be sown on time. Another difficulty is the livestock, be it small-scale or big-scale farmers, mostly they would sell their livestock in return for cash that is used in farming. Especially small scale farmers would sell sheep/goats and use the money for farming or daily expenditures but due to the lockdown, they are unable to sell. As a result, these farmers have to maintain their livestock. This leads to another issue of fodder for the animals. These farmers would often estimate the amount of fodder required and stock up accordingly. But due to the nationwide clampdown, neither the animal traders came to the village to buy animals nor would the farmers be able to find fodder for their livestock. Hence, bringing us to a situation where there is a scarcity of fodder with many animals to feed.”