Even as vegetables grown in the district are of high-quality and are even sought after outside the state, sales and marketing support from the Punjab State Agricultural Marketing Board is abysmal.
Most farmers are aware of one sale point where to take their produce, the local vegetable market, which has rotten infrastructure and is not an asset of any king for the farmers. Marketing and directions are also missing.
Farmers from several villages Rauke Kalan, Gholia Kalan, Gholia Khurd, Kotla Raika, Mari Mustfa, Kokri Kalan, Rauke Kalan, Manuke, Maheshari, Dhaleke, Tharaj, Dhilwan Wala and Fatehgarh Panjtoor villages in Moga are centres of high-quality cauliflower, cabbage, tomato and capsicum. The supply is sent to all corners of the state and also Delhi. Two Moga farmers, Jagraj Singh of Rauke Kalan and Amar Singh of Manuke village, have also state awards for growing high-quality vegetables.
In Moga, 21,925 acres is under vegetable in Baghapurana, Moga, Nihal Singh Wala and Dharamkot. Tomato is also grown in 62 acres.
Jagraj Singh from Rauke Kalan villahe, who grows capsicum, says: "The Moga market lacks basic facilities and thus I have to go Ludhiana and Delhi for selling his produce."
"Over the last three years, I have written three letters to Punjab Mandi Board chairman Ajmer Singh Lakhowal on the bad condition of the local vegetable market. I am yet to receive any reply."
Former district youth Congress president Manjit Singh Mann said, "The market lacks the most basic facilities for storage. The perishable commodity is unprotected from rain and winds. Slush and frequent dusty conditions are the worries. Growers and commission agents at the market are unhappy at the performance of the market committee."
Kirti Kisan Union (KKU) district president alleged that the market committee collected a huge amount under the garb of market fees from all stakeholders, but the vegetable farmer was ignored.
"If the government does not pay attention to our problems, we will start an agitation soon."
Another progressive farmer and an Akali leader Rajinderpal Singh Tharaj admitted that farmers in the vegetable market did not have many facilities.
"I will soon be leading a deputation to meet Ajmer Singh Lakhowal and we will raise the issue of providing facilities for the Moga vegetable market."
Agriculture development officer Jaswinder Singh Brar said that the department was disseminating basic knowledge to farmers on growing vegetables via a personal contact programmes. He added that seeds had been distributed to 563 farmers at Raunta, Rode, Badhni Kalan and other villages.
District mandi officer Dhanvir Singh said, "A major issue at the market is presence of stray animals. This is created by people, who provide wheat chaff to stray animals each morning at the vegetable market as well as the new grain market for religious reasons. In spite of our requests to stop this, people have carried on with the practice. Now, we have passed a resolution that to prevent the entry of stray animals, iron gates will be installed at the main entries of grain and vegetable markets soon,"
When contacted, Moga deputy commissioner claimed that the market committee officials were doing their job well.