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Farmers prefer feeding their surplus cabbage to cattle

They say govt should declare a minimum support price for vegetables or make arrangements for its procurement at the time of bumper crop.

lucknow Updated: Jan 29, 2019 20:46 IST
S Raju
S Raju
Hindustan Times, Meerut
A farmer feeds cabbage to his cattle in Pawti village in Hapur district of Uttar Pradesh. (S Raju/HT)

Jat farmers in Pawti village of Hapur district in Uttar Pradesh here are in distress. Surplus cabbage crop and low returns this year have compelled them to either plough their produce into the field or feed the vegetable to their cattle.

Farmers demand that like other crops, a minimum support price be declared for vegetables as a large number of people are involved in vegetable farming.

Village head Latoor Singh said the village has a population of over 3,000 and is dominated by the Jat community and majority of them are supporters of Prime Minister Naraendra Modi. A big poster of Modi, along with details of Union government’s schemes is displayed at the main entrance of Singh’s house.

They admire Modi, but also express disappointment over the “ignorant attitude of the government towards vegetable farmers”.

Like other farmers of the village, Latoor Singh grew cabbage on his eight bigha land in the hope of getting good profits like the previous year. But the prices of cabbage plummeted this year.

Singh said a cabbage stack of 70 kg is now being sold at Rs 50. This is less than the cost incurred on growing the vegetable. Disappointed, he then decided to plough the entire cabbage crop into the field instead of selling it.

“There was no benefit from selling the crop at such low prices therefore I ploughed it in the field,” Singh explained.

Farmers of the village sell their vegetables in the ‘mandis’ (local markets) of Shahjahanpur, Meerut, Garhmukteshwar and Hapur. A small truck charges at least Rs 1,200 to ferry vegetables from the village to these markets.

Another farmer, Babli Chaudhary also ploughed his cabbage crop on seven bigha land because of low prices in the market. Farmer Buddhu also expressed concern over the low price of cabbage in the market and questioned: “Why should we take so much pain and bear loss selling cabbage at a low price of Rs 50 per stack?”

“Instead, I feed the cabbage to my cattle,” he added.

Latoor Singh and other farmers explained that the prices of vegetables are directly affected by its demand and supply. More production brings down prices. Like other crops, the government should declare a minimum support price for vegetables or they should make arrangements for its procurement at the time of bumper crop, they said.

First Published: Jan 29, 2019 20:45 IST