COVID-19 curfew affects sales at weekly cattle shandy at Karungalpalayam

Traders from other States fail to turn up to purchase cattle; only 55% sales reported

Surge in COVID-19 cases, including the Omicron variant, and imposition of night curfew in many States affected sales at the weekly cattle shandy at Karungalpalayam as traders from other States did not turn up to purchase cattle on Thursday.

On an average, farmers from various districts bring 900 cattle to the private market that functions from 4 a.m. to noon on Thursdays. Traders from Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Telangana and from few other States usually visit the market and transport the purchased cattle in trucks. But, due to incessant rain in the States and COVID-19, arrival of traders to the shandy was affected in the past four months.

After the rain stopped, the arrival of cattle improved last week and 85% sales ware reported. But on Thursday, around 600 cattle were brought to the shandy and less than 55% sales were realised. Farmers said that due to the spike in COVID-19 cases and imposition of fresh restrictions by various State governments, traders from other States did not turn up. “Since cases continue to rise and the respective State governments come up with fresh restrictions, arrival of cattle to the shandy could be affected in the coming weeks,” said a farmer S. Chellakrishnan from Omalur.

Due to the pandemic, the shandy was closed for four-and-a-half months in 2021 and for six months in 2020. Farmers said that a third wave would have adverse effect on transactions in the coming weeks and they fear that the shandy would be closed if cases continued to increase.

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