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Amid COVID chaos and protests, India's farmers eye record wheat crop

Indian Farmers are on track to gather a record 109 million tonnes this year, posing more headaches for a government that some experts say underestimated the strength of rural anger.

April 29, 2021 / 04:40 PM IST
Source: Reuters

Source: Reuters

While India battles soaring COVID-19 infections, on the outskirts of New Delhi thousands of farmers still occupy camps where they are keeping up a months-long sit-in protest against government legislation that they say harms them.

Underlining the organised nature of the movement as it tries to force Prime Minister Narendra Modi to revoke reforms aimed at making agriculture more efficient, farmers are being ferried to and from villages in order to harvest this year's wheat crop.

The logistical feat is working, at least from the farmers' point of view. They are on track to gather a record 109 million tonnes this year, posing more headaches for a government that some experts say underestimated the strength of rural anger.

To appease protesters, the state grain purchaser is likely to have to procure large quantities of wheat at guaranteed prices, trade sources said, eating into the budget and bloating already high stock levels.