Farmers in most parts of Odisha are now forced to sell their cabbages and cauliflowers at extremely low prices for fear of spoilage in farmlands even though their prices are still high in cities like Bhubaneswar. They rued that a lack of cold storage facilities and marketing linkages are forcing them into distress sale.
As per reports, cabbages, and cauliflowers have been cultivated in hundreds of acres of land in Ganjam, Niali, Athagarh and other parts of the state. But now the farmers are selling their produce at a paltry Rs 2 to 3/ kg to traders, incurring huge losses.
They fear the distress sale will certainly push them into the debt traps.
As cold storage facilities do not exist in their areas, they have no way out but to sell the produce at a pittance, the farmers pointed out, lamenting, “If we do not sell our produce at this time to traders at low prices, it will rot in our farmlands.”
Hemanta Nahak, a farmer of Sipakuda in Ganjam said, “I have cultivated cabbage in two acres. But there are hardly any takers for our cabbage even at Rs 2 a kg. We have good harvest this time, but we are not getting the right price. We are selling it at a loss.”
Basanti Nahak, a women farmer of the same village rued, “If cauliflowers are sold for Rs 2 a piece, how we will pay off our loans taken from SHGs.”
Farmer Sangram Nahak and others said that had the government made cold storage in their area, they would not be in such a hurry to sell their produce.
Similar situation is witnessed by farmers in Athagarh and Niali areas. Farmers Bijay Behera and Alok Sahu from Athagarh lamented the distress sale of their produce and observed that vegetable farming is not a profitable proposition without cold storages.