Low garlic prices leads to losses for farmers in Hadauti region
Farmer groups and public representatives in the region are demanding that the government purchase their produce under the Market Intervention Scheme.jaipur Updated: Mar 29, 2018 21:59 IST
A bumper crop of garlic in Hadauti region has caused prices to crash for the second consecutive year, leaving farmers in a tizzy.
Farmer groups and public representatives in the region are demanding that the government purchase their produce under the Market Intervention Scheme (MIS), so that agriculturists are assured of their actual due.
Chauthmal Nagar, a farmer from Bachhihera region of Kota, said he received an average price of just Rs 16 per kg while selling eight quintals of garlic in the market this year. “This is a big fall, given that I used to earn anywhere between Rs 60 and 90 per kg of the produce two years ago,” he bemoaned, adding that he had sold garlic at rock-bottom prices last year too.
Hadauti region is considered as the garlic bowl of Rajasthan, producing 90% of its crop.
As per official figures from the agriculture department, garlic was cultivated on 1.32 lakh hectares of land in Rajasthan. Of this, Kota accounted for 1.14 lakh hectares. The total production is likely to be 7.18 lakh metric tonnes this year.
Garlic production was around 3.94 lakh metric tonnes in Kota in 2015-2016, while the cultivation area touched the 1.38 lakh hectare figure. Garlic production rose up to 7.87 lakh metric tonnes in 2016-17.
Hadauti Kisan Union general secretary Dashrath Kumar said that as garlic has a limited shelf life, farmers are forced to sell their produce at a loss immediately in the post-harvest season. They cannot afford to wait till a time when the market prices soar.
Kota MP Om Birla met Union agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh to demand that the government purchase garlic under the MIS Scheme. “We have asked farmers to not sell their garlic produce for another 10 days. It is likely that the government may start purchasing garlic by then,” said Birla.
The state government has also sent a related proposal to the Centre.
Congress leaders Kundan Cheeta and Suresh Gurjar burnt garlic near the local market to highlight the farmers’ woes and push for governmental purchase of their crop.