Short of labour, paddy growers a worried lot - Mandi Gobindgarh News

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Thursday, June 13, 2019

Short of labour, paddy growers a worried lot


Short of labour, paddy growers a worried lot

Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 12

With the paddy season beginning tomorrow, farmers are a worried lot due to the shortage of skilled labour.

This time, paddy sowing will be done on more than 31 lakh hectares, using more than 13.78 lakh tubewells — the highest to date.

Farmers, who have already made advance payments through phone apps to migrant labourers in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, are all set to begin paddy sowing from Thursday. However, the acute shortage of labour and a shift in the paddy transplantation date have been a windfall gain for potential migrant workers, who are demanding 25 per cent advance payments through phone-based apps from farmers. While thousands have reached, others are on their way to the state.

Cashing in on the situation, labourers are not only demanding advance payments but also want liquor on the house every day. Groceries are also on thelist of freebies.

“A lot is being offered to labourers for now. Rich landlords are even giving advanced payments to them to ensure that they start sowing paddy from the first day of the season,” claims Jaiveer Singh Sandhu, a landlord from Patiala.

“With younger members of our families not prepared to work in scorching heat, we are desperate to arrange labour at any cost,” he said.

Satisfied with the offers, UP-based paddy expert Ram Babu said: “We will start sowing from Thursday. In addition to Rs 2,350 per acre, we will get CDs of Bhojpuri movies and television sets in our rooms. Earlier, we used to get bhang and ganja too but fearing police action, now we just get liquor and beedi.”

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