Lockdown Effect: Local entrepreneur seeks Govt attention

SENAPATI, 30th Apr: Entrepreneurs in the state are living their worst nightmare amid a near-complete nationwide lockdown, with their businesses on the verge of closure.
Though started with the hope of creating job opportunities and improving economy of many, a local entrepreneur of Mayangkhang village sees a gloomy business prospect after the more than one month-long nationwide lockdown.
E Robi of Mayangkhang village under Kangpokpi district is the proprietor of M/S Singei Puinat Nursery (SP Nursery), which was established in 2006. State Agricultural Management & Extension Training Institute, Department of Agriculture, Government of Manipur had conferred her with the State Best Farmer Award in Horticulture for 2017-18.
Robi prepares flowers (Carnation) for sale and makes her living.
In an exclusive interview with The People’s Chronicle, Robi recalled that District Horticulture Department had assisted her centre with some 10,000 carnation saplings and green house facility in the month of July last year.
Usually, the flower (Carnation) attains maturity and is ready for sale in the month of March or early April with each stem costing Rs 20. Carnations are in great demand for decorations and bouquet, Robi informed, while adding that she was targeting to sell more than 40,000 stems in the month of March and April this year through the department of Horticulture, agriculture and KVKs.
However, outbreak of COVID-19 and subsequent imposition of nationwide lockdown for containing the pandemic in early March has severely affected her sales, she lamented, and added that she could sell only 500 stems before the lockdown.
Worried over the possibility of the flowers getting decayed after attaining maturity, the helpless entrepreneur said that she is clueless how to recover the losses as her business is purely seasonal.
Married to David of Mayangkhang village under Kangpokpi district, Robi has three children and survival of her family is solely dependent on the business of selling flowers.
Not to blame anyone for the failure of her business due to nationwide lockdown, the worried proprietor has sought government’s assistance as she sees no hope of regaining the losses.

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