Skyrocketing fuel prices across the country over the last several months are impacting people relying on fields as diverse as aquaculture and insurance, including the fishermen who go into the sea for their catch in Andhra Pradesh.
In a state like Andhra Pradesh, which is majorly an agrarian state, some farmers who converted their paddy fields into aquaculture ponds have emerged as the unlikely sufferers of high fuel prices.
As part of the baby-like care they are required to take for the shrimps, these farmers have to run aerators in the ponds to increase oxygen supply in the water and thereby nurture the growth and safety of the prawns.
Many prawn farmers manage to get a power connection to run the aerators and incur an average monthly power bill of Rs 5,000 for a pond of 4 acres in the Godavari districts.
However, a good number of aquaculture farmers are not so fortunate to get a power connection and end up installing engines or auto rickshaw engines on the banks of a pond and run them with diesel.
“For a 4-acre prawn pond, it costs me Rs 90,000 per month just for fuel while it is only Rs 5,000 for a pond with electric power connection to run the aerators,” Kumar, an aquaculture farmer, told IANS.