Visakhapatnam: Tonnes of jaggery lumps are rotting in India’s second-largest market at Anakapalle in Visakhapatnam district.

Thanks to the coronavirus lockdown, farmers and traders have suffered huge losses as tonnes of jaggery are decaying for want of transport.

The Rs 200 crore trade has been badly affected ever since the outbreak of the virus across the country.

Traders said that if the lockdown continued for another fortnight, the market situation would be further worsened

Anakapalle jaggery market, which was shut down the first time for one month during demonetization in 2016, has to close again from March 22 this year.

Anakapalle market received 20,000 tonnes of jaggery in 2016-2017, while it was 16,000 tonnes in 2017-18 and 14,000 tonnes in 2018-19.

Traders were expecting to receive at least 12,000 tonnes this season. Traders fear they might receive less than 10,000 tonnes of jaggery lumps this season if the lockdown is extended.

Former Rural Electricity Cooperative Society chairman and a prominent YSRCP leader Buddeti Prasad called on the local MLA Gudivada Amarnath on Sunday and appealed him to persuade the government to procure the jaggery in the interest of the farmers and the traders.

Well, known trader, Konathala Nageswara Rao said the lockdown has halted the operations in the market. “The market has received over 7,000 tonnes of jaggery so far,” he said.

A couple of days before the Janata Curfew, Anakapalle market received 9,000 jaggery lumps per day, each weighing around 15 kgs. Besides, Anakapalle made jaggery has been facing stiff challenges from the makers of Odisha and Maharashtra.

Local political leaders said they will meet chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy and urge him to take up the issue with the central government so that the existing stocks could be lifted.

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