Why Farmers In This Kerala Village Pray For Peace With Pakistan
It is the Malappuram District and Tirur Samiti region in Kerala. 12 thousand farmers living in the area are expected to get rains on April 2. More than that, they seek there should be no tensions at the Indo-Pak border and the peaceful relations between the two countries are to continue. That’s because their lives depend on the relations of the two countries. They are living from the generations on the basis of revenue exporting of betel leaves to Pakistan.
Betel leafs are moving to the pak market is a mistake that assuming Pakistan is located next to it. The Indian border crossing Pakistan is about three thousand kilometers away. However, the farmers’ families have strong reasons to trade their business of betel leaves with the Pakistani market. The farmers of Ozhur, tanalur, Chelambra, Mori and Pariyapuram in the Tirur Samiti council are producing two types of betel leaves.
Tirur lanka pan and Nadan varieties are grown in that region. The meaning of lanka pan in their language is progress and Nadaan is a Local Variety Attached. Nadaan Pan is being exported to the domestic market and Lanka pan is exported to Pakistan.
The lanka pan is worth Rs 70 per hundred bales. At demand, it goes up to 85 rupees. When the supply slows down due to tensions, the bundle will fall to about Rs. 20. Local farmers have reported that the supply of lanka pan has not stopped even when the wars in 1965, 1971 and 1999 took place. In the country, they have made more profits on these betels during the VP Singh government. “We have not received more than 20 rupees a bundle on the import of India’s imports by 140 per cent due to the turbulent situation in Pakistan in June 2016,” said Betel Business Association President Eani Haji.
The bond of the betel was much stronger with Pak until the country’s independence. Each Goods train from Chennai and Delhi has been installed at Tirur Railway Station. The Pakistani cargo plane also runs from Tirur.
Locals say that Mohammed Ali Jinnah, a part of Bangladesh, wanted to give his country to Tirur, during the partition of the country, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, along with local Muslim families in that region are refused to leave the country. Nehru also assured that he did not stop the supply of goods if the Battles happen between the countries.
But the farmers are concerned that the recent tensions in the borders are anxious. Alternatively, we can not take alternative measures to move betel to the Indian market! They say that the alternative market is only the state of Uttar Pradesh. Local farmers said they are facing fiercely competitive in the country with country betel leaves coming from West Bengal and Rani Vellore betel leaves coming from Tamil Nadu. Currently, six-tonne betel leaves are exported from Tirur to Pak in one week.