Farmers dump cabbages on fields and roads

By Times Of India on 10 Jul 2017 | read
MANALI: A much lower market price than the cost of production has forced hundreds of farmers of Sainj valley in Kullu to dump their cabbages on roads and fields.

Currently farmers are getting Re 1 to Rs 3 for 1kg of cabbage. They claim, to spend from their own pocket to bring vegetables to market as the price of cabbage is less than the labour and transport charges. This is the reason why farmers are uprooting the cabbage from their fields and dumping them anywhere leading to rotten heaps of cabbage everywhere in the valley.

"Those farmers who are still taking their cabbage to fruit market have either blind faith in miracle or are stupid," a farmer from Shainshar village Mahender Singh Palsara said. "I sold 900kg cabbage at Takoli vegetable market and received Rs 1,350 after deduction of various charges.

This way the cabbage was sold for Rs 1.5 per kg whereas I had given about Rs 2.5 per kg to labourers to carry it to the roadside and then to jeep owner to transport them to the fruit market. I suffered a loss of Rs 1 per kg," he said. "Cost of fertilizer, insecticides and my personal labour is not even included in the expenses. This is the reason why wise farmers are dumping vegetables."

Another farmer from Sainj, Ram Singh Thakur said, agriculture is the main occupation of majority of population. "There are hundreds who have paid lakhs of rupees as lease amount against the lands to use them for cultivation. How will they survive? " he said. Last season, cabbage had fetched Rs 10 to Rs 30 per kg but surprisingly it could not fetch more than Rs 5 per kg this season, he added.

Not only Sainj valley but farmers from Banjar and other parts of the Kullu have been marred by the low cabbage prices. They blamed poor marketing by the government and monopoly by vegetable commission agents for the collapse of the market.