Rajasthan government to buy garlic under MIS scheme

Farmers’ bodies and the opposition are not happy with rates offered by the state government.

jaipur Updated: Jun 13, 2017 20:27 IST
Aabshar H Quazi
Aabshar H Quazi
Hindustan Times
Garlic,Rajasthan,Market Intervention Scheme
Sacks full of garlic at a mandi in Kota. (HT Photo)

Bowing before the farmers and opposition’s demand, the Rajasthan government’s cooperative department has decided to buy garlic at ₹32 per kilogramme (₹3200 per quintal) under the Market Intervention Scheme (MIS) in five places in Rajasthan, including Hadauti region.

However, farmers’ bodies and the opposition are not happy with rates offered by the government.

On June 3, 2017, HT had first reported the plight of farmers growing garlic in the Hadauti region. The farmers were demanding government intervention after garlic prices crashed due to a glut in production.

Since the government had not declared a Minimum Support Price (MSP) for Garlic, it will now buy it under MIS.

State cooperative minister Ajay Singh Kilak said that the Union government has granted the state government permission to buy garlic under MIS, whereby a total of 10,000 quintals of garlic would be bought at five places in Rajasthan — Kota, Khanpur (Jhalawar), Chhipabarod (Baran), Keshoraipatan (Bundi) and Pratapgarh. “The purchase of garlic will be held through Rajasthan Agriculture Cooperative Marketing Federation (Rajfed),” he said.

The decision to buy garlic through Rajfed has been taken to ensure due prices for garlic, he added.

Kota MP Om Birla hailed the government’s decision and described it as an effort to prevent losses to farmers, however, farmers’ bodies and the Congress has described it insufficient.

Dashrath Kumar, general secretary of Hadauti Kisan Union, said that the decision will not help since the purchase rates are insufficient. Kumar said that if the state government wants to help the farmers it should buy the entire garlic produce instead of just 10,000 quintals.

According to the farmers, the price of garlic was around ₹50 to ₹100 per kilogramme in 2016, which went down to ₹10 to ₹40, with average price hovering around ₹20 per kilogramme. The production of garlic in Hadauti region was 7.87 lakh metric tonnes this year.

Former Congress minister Shanti Dhariwal described the government’s decision as an eyewash. “The Hadauti region alone has produced around 8 lakh tonnes but the government is buying only 10,000 quintals of garlic,” he said.

He further alleged that government will buy garlic at ₹32 per kilogramme whereas the cost of cultivation is ₹25 per kg, so the government should buy garlic at a minimum of ₹45 to ₹50 to ensure that the farmers make some profit.

First Published: Jun 13, 2017 20:27 IST