Vegetable growers left on the lurch

January 17, 2021 Business
Seeing bright-coloured vegetables dotted around large stretches of land will make any farmer have pride in the hard work they place in to create them.

However the moment farmers in the northern districts take into account the rates wholesalers offer them, their delight starts off wearing off.

The costs in the ongoing peak winter weather are so low that a lot of growers are unlikely to recoup their investment, aside from make any profit.

"The price has been dropping for the last seven days," explained Azizur Rahman, a veggie grower in the Sadar upazila in the district.

Winter vegetables such as for example cauliflower, cabbage, beans, potato, brinjal, and gourd are actually grown abundantly found in the northern districts, especially Dinajpur, Thakurgaon, Panchagarh, Nilphamari and Rangpur.

The vegetables are consumed locally and supplied to other areas of the country aswell. 

However the price fall is quite frustrating for farmers.

Farmers are available brinjal right to traders from their field for Tk 3 per kilogramme (kg), a third of Tk 9 per kg they took residence a week ago.

Abu Bakkar, a farmer of Nijpara village under Birganj upazila in Dinajpur, grew brinjal, cabbage and cauliflower this year. The yield was medium, however the price upset him.

On Saturday, he marketed brinjal to a trader hailing from Noakhali at Tk 3 per kg.

"The price is a lot less than I had expected," he explained.

Bakkar invested Tk 25,000 per bigha to cultivate the favorite vegetable.

"If the purchase price was around Tk 10, I would not need lost any money. When will the farmers earn a profit if indeed they fail to make a profit during the peak season?" he added.

Brinjal is retailing at Tk 20 per kg at retail markets.

Bakkar's cabbage had not been spared either from the declining prices.

Azizul Islam, a vegetable grower in Chehelgazi village on Dinajpur Sadar upazila, sold each cabbage for Tk 3 apiece. The purchase price was Tk 1.5 a few days ago, he said.

A cabbage is being sold at Tk 10 at the neighborhood kitchen market, down from Tk 25 fourteen days ago.

Potato in addition has seen its fair share of the price drop in the farmers' level.

Each kilogramme of potato has been sold at Tk 9 at the farmers' level. In the local market in Dinajpur, traders had been seen selling the favorite vegetable at Tk 15 per kg.

The only vegetable that's taking some smiles to farmers is green chillies.

Islam said a good kilogram of green chilly was first sold at Tk 80, which is greater than other winter vegetables. However, not many farmers expand green chillies, he said.

He went on to say that the federal government took measures when the price of potato was skyrocketing towards the end of last year.

"But we aren't noticing any action from the government as the cost of potato is dropping. With this, the federal government is helping consumers, certainly not the farmers," Islam said.

Onion growers are actually also disappointed after the government allowed imports when the locally produced range to enter the market early January.

"The onion import might have been resumed after observing the marketplace trend," Islam said. The very best quality local onion is retailing for Tk 35 per kg.

The federal government has been forced to allow traders to import onion after the price of your kitchen staple showed signs of warming up within the last quarter of 2020 following an Indian ban on exports in September.

An identical ban in September 2019 took the cost of onion to its highest level as Bangladesh depends on imports for inadequate local supplies. 

Golam Mostafa, a great onion farmer found in Biral upazila, said he sold each kilogramme of onion to traders from the field in Tk 23 recently. The rate was higher last year.

Mahbub Islam, a veggie grower found in the Sadar upazila found in Nilphamari, said he didn't see any alternative to overcome the losses incurred during winter. The problem may be the same for additional growers in the region.

"Potato seeds had been expensive for the farmers this past year," he added.

Khandakar Md Mezbahul Islam, an agricultural expert at the additional director Workplace of the Division of Agricultural Extension found in Rangpur, said veggie farming would be successful if reasonable transportation was ensured for farmers.

He also blamed the middlemen for pocketing most profits.

"Farmers sell a good kilogram of brinjal at Tk 3, but at the market, it is sold in Tk 20. Who's taking the rest Tk 17?" he questioned.
Source: Thedaily Star

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