In absence of combines, farmers turn to manual wheat harvesting

Local labour getting work in plenty, cases of straw-burning negligible

In absence of combines, farmers turn to manual wheat harvesting

Farmers say they have to harvest the crop themselves and cannot wait for the end of lockdown as the crop has ripened.

Deepender Deswal

Tribune News Service

Hisar, April 12

A number of farmers has returned to the manual harvesting mode of wheat crop in absence of the combine machinery in the district. With the migrant labour have returned to their native places and the combines, which mostly came from Punjab during the harvesting season not being available, the farmers have been cutting the wheat crop by themselves. The local labour is also getting the work in abundance.

The farmers say that they have little option but to harvest the crop by themselves. “We cannot wait for the end of lockdown as the crop is ripened now. My entire family, including school-going children, is engaged in the crop cutting. It has been after about a decade that the family members have been harvesting the crop by ourselves as the availability of the combine have made it easier for us to harvest the crops”, said Anil, a farmer of Chahad village of the district.

As a positive effect, there are almost negligible incidents of straw burning. Earlier, the farmers resorted to straw burning after harvesting the crop with combine.

Another farmer, Naveen Kumar of Sundawas village, says they are hiring the local labour now. “The local labourers too have diverted to other works in the past as the migrant labourers took the place. But without work, the labourers are also available for farm work.” The labour charges 2.5 quintals wheat for harvesting in one acre field.

Owners, family turn labourers

  • Many land owners as well as their family members are harvesting their wheat crop with the help of their neighbours due to the non-availability of migrant labourers.
  • Raj Singh Hooda of Sanghi village said the practice of helping fellow farmers in harvesting operations, which was prevalent in villages till a few decades ago, seemed to have been revived amid the lockdown.

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