Pilibhit (Uttar Pradesh), Feb 3: A marginal farmer threw away his entire cauliflower produce, weighing 10 quintal, anguished over very low price of Re 1/kg by the market body. He allowed the needy and poor to pick and choose the vegetable from the road free of cost.
The farmer was apparently upset at the low price being offered for his produce by the licensed traders on the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) campus in Pilibhit.
The farmer, Mohammad Saleem of Jahanabad town, said he was offered Re 1 per kg for his crop by the traders, which was less than the transportation cost for bringing his produce to the APMC campus.
“I have half an acre of land where I had cultivated cauliflower and spent around Rs 8,000 on seeds, cultivation, irrigation, fertilisers, etc. In addition, I had to bear harvesting and transportation costs worth Rs 4,000,” he said.
“The retail price of cauliflower at present is Rs 12 to 14 per kg and I was expecting at least Rs 8 per kg for my produce. When I was offered a mere Rs 1 per kg, I had no option but to throw away all my produce to save the transportation cost to take it back home,” he added.
Saleem said that he would now have to take private loans on a higher rate of interest as commercial banks had been quite reluctant in extending credit facility to poor farmers.
“The loss has put my family, comprising a 60-year-old mother, younger brother, wife and two school-going children, to the brink of starvation. My brother and I will now have to take up some labour work to provide for the family,” he said.
APMC secretary Vijil Baliyan, meanwhile, said, “We could not apply any regulations regarding the procurement price of vegetable crops as these were not covered under the minimum support price policy of the state government.”
“The prices of vegetables are normally governed by the volume of supply although the traders have a tendency of earning the major part of the profit,” Baliyan added.