The sweet lime growers in Mukundapuram are in trouble despite the yield being very good due to continuous availability of irrigation water, as COVID-19 cast a shadow on the sales of this fruit.
Grown in over 2,000 acres in this village alone in Garladinne mandal, which has one of the largest chunks of land dedicated for this crop, farmers were buoyant after failure of the crop in 2018 and 2019 due to shortage of irrigation water. Sweet lime, which was sold up to ₹60,000 a tonne in May 2019, is now being sold at ₹6,000 to ₹8,000 a tonne. By a very conservative estimate, if the farmer gets ₹18,000 to ₹20,000 per tonne, he can recover his investment.
Plucking of the fruits begins by February-end and gets completed by April-end, but a visit to the farms in the third week of May showed more than 50% of the yield still on the plants as farmers do not find buyers due to lack of demand from northern States. Some farmers, to retrieve some money from their investment, are selling it at the farm for ₹10,000 a tonne.
Several representations to Member of Parliament Talari Rangaiah, MLA Jonnalagadda Padmavathy and District Collector Gandham Chandrudu did not result in any action so far to transport or open the marketing channels.
[ ₹100 = €1.20 ]