Cattle feast on cabbage, cauliflowers in Himachal as prices plummet
Farmers are unable to sell to Delhi and Bombay, the local markets are flooded with produce leading to a drastic drop in pricesUpdated: Apr 30, 2020 15:25 IST
Farmers in Himachal are in a lurch as they are unable to sell their produce for a good price amid the coronavirus lockdown, as such many farmers have fed their produce to cattle.
The price of vegetables had shot up during the initial days of the pandemic. However, with the supply chain in disarray, the prices of vegetables have drastically dropped as the local markets have surplus vegetables.
The farmers, particularly, those growing, pea, cauliflower and cabbage are suffering huge losses as the rates for these vegetables have plummeted.
Theog, Mashobra and Chail sell their produce the fruit and vegetable market in Dhalli. While, the farmers in Shimla’s surrounding areas such as Dhamun panchayats also sell vegetables in Shimla.
The prices of peas, cauliflower and cabbage have dropped drastically in the last three days.
“It is due to the plumetting prices that we have started feeding the produce to animals. Farmers will not be able to pay off the loans raised for sowing of crops,” said a farmer, Rajendra Thakur, of Thraia village.
In the first week of April, pea was being sold for ₹25 per kg. However, the rate has dropped to ₹15.
“Despite, toiling day and night, farmers have failed to procure minimum price for their produce. Consequently, they are feeding the produce to their cattle,” said Surender Thakur.
“The pea is rotting in fields as when the government allotted permission for transportation, the prices dropped due to glutting of vegetables in the local market,” said Jitender singh, who demanded a loan waiver for farmers.
President, Arhti Association Harish Thakur in Dhalli Sabzi Mandi says most of vegetables producedin Himachal have markets in Mumbai and Delhi. “However, due to the lockdown they are unable to supply vegetables to the big cities.”
HP Fruit Vegetables and Flowers association president Harish Chauhan said due to the coronavirus, the supply chain of seasonal vegetables had been badly affected causing huge losses to farmers as well as fruit marketers.
“Most big fruit markets of the country have been shutdown due to the coronavirus and there are limited buyers and sellers in the state. We request the government to compensate farmers who have suffered losses,” he said.
Agriculture is an important source of the state’s income. Around 12.73% of the total gross state domestic produce comes from agriculture and its allied sectors. Off the total area of state, which is 55.67 lakh hectares, the area under operational holding is around 9.55 lakh hectares. Around 9.61 lakh farmers grow crop on the land.