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HindustanTimes Fri,11 Jul 2014

Guar farmers at loss as rates fall

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Bathinda, August 27, 2013
First Published: 20:10 IST(27/8/2013) | Last Updated: 20:11 IST(27/8/2013)

Farmers in the region are a disillusioned lot. Guar, a crop that was fetching them up to Rs. 45,000 a quintal is now fetching them a 10th of the price at Rs. 4,000 a quintal and this only if the government buys their produce.

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This has been a double blow as floods had already destroyed more than half of the crop in Muktsar. Area under the crop had also doubled this year after the windfall farmers reaped last year.

In Bathinda, the area under guar was 4,000 hectares in 2012, which increased to 8,000 hectares this year. In Muktsar, the area increased to 7,000, same as Mansa.

Last year, a private company from Haryana had entered into a contract with farmers in Mansa and Bathinda by distributing free seeds and paying the farmers an amount of Rs. 40,000 per quintal.

Mall Singh Wala sarpanch said: "A number of farmers were given free guar seeds by a Haryana-based private company. However, no contract was entered into."

"Now, the price has come down to Rs. 4,500. Heavy rainfall has hit the crop," said Muktsar agriculture officer Beant Singh.

Mansa agriculture officer Paramjit Singh Dhatt said, "Area in our district under guar doubled, while demand has fallen this year. Farmers have faced some loss. We are doing our best to buy as much of the crop as possible at government-determined rates."

There are some reports that as oil companies are not buying it for use in their processes, the global demand has fallen and could have hit prices here.

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