‘Asani’ leaves bitter taste for salt farmers of Prakasam in Andhra Pradesh

Whilst a gaggle of salt farmers, after a back-breaking work, was gearing as much as take up harvest of their produce from the salt pans on a full scale in a distant Biramgunta village, close to Kothapatnam in Prakasam district, the devastating cyclonic storm ”Asani” left the salt farmers shocked washing out your complete produce very quickly.

Salt manufacturing usually peaks in Could. ‘‘We can’t count on any salt manufacturing for the following one month,” laments a salt farmer P Anjaneyulu, whereas repairing the bunds of his salt pan within the village with the rains abating.

The heavy rain induced by ‘Asani’ has come on the most inopportune time. If there are any additional rains. the farmers can’t produce any salt this 12 months, says Okay. Venkateswarlu Reddy, one other salt farmer from Motumala village, in a dialog with The Hindu. He has taken up salt manufacturing in a single and half acres of land.

“I hoped to make a kill with weathermen predicting warmth wave circumstances throughout Could. Now my hopes are dashed. I’m clueless on clearing money owed to the tune of ₹1 lakh taken for salt manufacturing in 4 acres of land,” laments P. Prabhakar from the coastal village of Kothapatnam.

Salt contents diluted

The salt content material within the pans has now been diluted. The premature rains put paid to their hopes of full scale salt manufacturing this 12 months, provides Ch. Ramakrishna from Padarsi village. The scenario is just like the one when “Laila” cyclonic storm wrecked havoc in 2010.

The small-time farmers in Kothapatnam mandal are depended upon personal cash lenders, who advance them loans in December for making ready salt pans and buy the salt produced by them at a reduced worth than the one prevailing available in the market, and promote them largely within the winter months when there is no such thing as a salt manufacturing for a worth, three to 4 occasions greater than that ruling on the time of harvest, the farmers complain and press for organising of a commodity Board by the State authorities to insulate them from market forces and supply succour to them when heavy rains play spoilsport.

Within the absence of pucca street, the farmers are compelled to bodily carry the salt as much as the principle street, they add whereas urgent for a motorable roads near salt pans within the villages of Biramgunta, Motumala, Kothapatnam, Padarsi and Gundamala. An extra price of ₹10 per quintal of salt is incurred for transportation of salt from salt pans as much as the principle street within the absence of metallic roads, they complain.

Intervention sought

The State authorities ought to prepare for institutional credit score for the salt farmers who produce salt in two to 5 acres within the mandal to finish the exploitation by cash lenders, Andhra Pradesh Rythu Sangam Kothapatnam district secretary S. Swamy Reddy says. The federal government must also repair minimal assist worth for salt and intervene available in the market when the worth falls beneath that.

Salt pan is ready in December by pumping out stagnant rainwater, formation of discipline channels, overhauling of electrical motor, strengthening of bunds and stamping of land, and the salt manufacturing goes on until July.

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