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Economy

Indian farmers fear for survival despite lockdown's relaxation

World's largest rural population must now piece supply chains back together

India's government has partially relaxed its nationwide lockdown, especially in rural areas, but farmers find themselves with no workers and severed from supply chains. (Photo by Harshita Rathore)

BANGALORE/SOTAI/DARJEELING -- India's government on Monday partially relaxed its lockdown in rural areas, allowing farmers to return to fields neglected for almost four weeks and giving a wisp of hope to the world's largest rural population, one that has suffered particular hardship under the stringent quarantine.

But the damage has been done. India's agricultural supply-chain has been severed, and farmers will have difficulty finding extra hands, materials and, eventually, buyers.

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