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State farmers selling produces to middlemen at throwaway prices

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  13 Jan 2015 12:00 AM GMT

No procurement of paddy in state by FCI, State Agriculture Marketing Board

The situation is even worst for vegetable growers who have to sell their produces at throwaway prices. In Barpeta vegetable wholesale market, while cauliflower is sold at 50 paise a kg, cabbage at 50 paise a kg, ol kobi at Re 1 a kg, brinjal at Rs 2/3 a kg, fresh bean at Rs 5 a kg, tomato at Rs 1 a kg, cucumber at 50 paise a kg, etc... Had there been adequate number of cold storage such perishable vegetables could have been kept and that would have ebled the farmers getting reasoble prices.

By our Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, January 12: The Bhogali spirit has touched all in the state, barring the farmers. And the blame for this goes to the state government that always neglect the necessities of the farmers, as though, to eble middlemen to mint money.

This year, the farmers of the state have been able to ensure bumper production of paddy by the sweat of their brews, but their efforts have gone in vein due to lack of responsibility on the part of the government at Dispur.

This year, the farmers have to bear the brunt as neither FCI nor the State Agricultural Marketing Board procured paddy produced by the state farmers who had to sell their produce to middlemen at throwaway prices. In most of the cases, the farmers are not even able to recover the cost of production. Some farmers even go for bumper production of paddy by taking bank loans, but their efforts are negated by the lack of responsibility on the part of Dispur.

According to official sources, the minimum support price of paddy was fixed at Rs 1,300 per quintal (fine paddy at Rs 1,350 per quintal) for FCI to procure from the farmers of the state. However, the corporation has not procured paddy. So much so that, the farmers have not been made known where are the paddy procurement centres are in their respective districts.

The State Agriculture Marketing Board has also not procured paddy from the state farmers, as though to leave them at the mercy of middlemen who have been buying bulk of the produces at much lower rates. The farmers have no way out but to sell their paddy at Rs 900 per quintal against Rs 1,300 MSP. According to sources, the farmers who took bank loans for cultivation are apprehensive of incurring huge loss.

The situation is even worst for vegetable growers who have to sell their produces at throwaway prices. In Barpeta vegetable wholesale market, while cauliflower is sold at 50 paise a kg, cabbage at 50 paise a kg, ol kobi at Re 1 a kg, brinjal at Rs 2/3 a kg, fresh bean at Rs 5 a kg, tomato at Rs 1 a kg, cucumber at 50 paise a kg, etc. The same commodities are sold in Guwahati at much higher prices.

Why have to farmers faced such a plight? Blame goes to the government. Had there been adequate number of cold storage such perishable vegetables could have been kept and that would have ebled the farmers getting reasoble prices.

This apart, the state Agriculture Marketing Board has not procured vegetables from the state farmers. Such uncertainty kills the work culture among the farmers of the state.

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