Salt farmers protest ‘raw deal’
As the mercury soars, Koduri Brahmananda Reddy, a salt farmer, is fully engrossed in producing salt from the salt pan at a remote Motumala village in Kothapatnam mandal of coastal Prakasam district. He was helped by his wife Padma in taking the salt to his godown a few hundred meters away.
It is a hand-to-mouth living for not just this couple, but several others involved in back-breaking work of producing salt unmindful of the scorching sun as the sector has been hit hard due to dwindling demand for crystal salt after the leather industry is pushed into the doldrums, thanks to rising cow vigilantism during the Narendra Modi regime which had adversely affected the fortunes of leather goods exports. The common salt is widely used to preserve raw hides and skins.
“We will not be able to continue in the profession unless the market price of salt is over ₹125 per quintal,” Mr. Brahmananda Reddy explains taking a little break from the tedious work. The summer is the time when the market price dips to about ₹60 per quintal.