Despite good harvest, vegetable farmers forced to go for distress sale

Bhadrak/ Puri: At a time when the farmers in Odisha are facing serious problems over the delay and irregularities in paddy procurement at different mandis, the condition of vegetable farmers in the state is no different.

Despite good harvest of cauliflowers in several districts of the state, the vegetable farmers are forced to go for distress sale.

According to sources, while the average cost needed for the production per cauliflower costs Rs 8 to Rs 10, they are selling the produce at Rs 3 to Rs 4. With no other alternative, the farmers are now selling their produce to middlemen and local traders at much lower prices.

“We are forced to sell at 50 paisa and Rs 1 to Rs 2 per cauliflower in the market. We have been under severe distress over repayment of loans that we have taken for farming,” said a farmer, Bijay Pradhan.

Even though the production of cauliflower has been good this year, the farmers are forced to dispose them at throwaway prices to traders and middlemen because of lack of cold storage to preserve their agricultural produce.

The situation is no different in Pipili of Puri district as the cauliflowers are being sold at the price of Rs 3 to Rs 4 despite good production this season.

“We were expecting a good profit after better production this year but due to unavailability of cold storages, we are bound to sell at low cost on the road side. If the government can take some steps in this regard we could also get some profit,” said another farmer, Kalu Singh.

Farmers have alleged that due to the callousness of the administration, they are being forced to sell their vegetables at lower rates. The farmers have demanded the administration to take necessary steps in this regard to stop the distress sale.

On the other hand speaking to media persons on the issue, Food and Supply minister Surjya Narayan Patro said that the vegetables produced by the farmers here are made for the consumption of the state but are unable to export to other states and foreign countries as chemicals are being used during the farming.

“When the production will be done by organic farming then it can be exported to other countries,” added Patro.