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Garlic purchase at fair price gets delayed while farmers in Rajasthan suffer

Delay in purchase of garlic at fair price through market intervention scheme (MIS) has hit farmers in Rajasthan who have been forced to sell the crop at throwaway prices

jaipur Updated: Apr 25, 2018 22:33 IST
Farmers in Rajasthan’s Kota burning garlic protesting over lower prices of garlic. (HT File Photo. )

Delay in purchase of garlic at fair price through market intervention scheme (MIS) has hit farmers in Rajasthan who have been forced to sell the crop at throwaway prices.

The garlic crop started arriving in the market more than four weeks back, but prices have crashed due to a bumper production this year.

While the Union agriculture ministry had approved the Rajasthan government’s request to purchase garlic at fair price on April 12, the implementation was delayed, and the purchase under the MIS is expected to start from Thursday, officials familiar with the matter, said.

Meanwhile, two debt-ridden farmers have committed suicide in Kota division allegedly due to lower wholesale prices of garlic that did not even cover the input and transport cost. The state government does not categorise farmer’s death due to debt burden until the investigation is completed.

“Farmers are being forced to sell garlic at ₹3-15 per kg, depending on the quality as against an input cost of at least ₹20 per kg,” said Kisan Mahapanchayat president Rampal Jat.

“The 25 mm thickness garlic that the state government will purchase at ₹32 per kg is being sold at ₹ 15,” he said.

In March, when the crop had started arriving in the mandis, farmers were receiving an average price of ₹ 16 per kg but subsequently the prices have fallen since then.

More than 10,000 quintal of garlic crop is currently reaching Kota mandi every day but farmers are at the receiving end in absence of fair price of the crop.

“We had certain queries about the purchase of garlic through the market intervention scheme. We got the reply from the Union agriculture ministry on Tuesday and will now start the purchase of garlic at fair price,” said Rajasthan State Cooperative Marketing Federation (RAJFED) managing director Veena Pradhan.

The government will be purchasing garlic at ₹3,200 per quintal or ₹32 per kg and the tentative target for Kota division is 50,000 tonne, a RAJFED official posted in Kota regional office, said.

Two years back, garlic prices were ruling between ₹ 60 and 90 per kg at the mandis. Farmers have been dejected due to steep fall in the prices.

On April 12, hundreds of farmers from Hataudi region, including women staged a huge demonstration at the Kota collectorate where they burnt garlic crop to protest against lower prices.

The net area under garlic in Rajasthan has increased from 69,000 hectare to 1.32 lakh hectare and the production of garlic has also doubled from 3.77 lakh MT to 7.7 lakh MT this year.

The Hataudi region comprising Kota, Bundi, Jahawar and Baran, accounts for about 90% of the state’s production.

First Published: Apr 25, 2018 22:32 IST