Vegetable farmers frustrated in Noakhali
Published : Tuesday, 18 February, 2020 at 12:00 AM Count : 103
NOAKHALI, Feb 11: There is no smile on the face of vegetable growers in Charkazi Mukhlesh Village of 4 No. Charwapda Union under Subranachar Upazila in the district.
A field visit found a total of nine acres of land have been brought under winter vegetable cultivation in the village.
While talking with The Daily Observer, growers Joynal Abedin Hazary and Abu Zaher of this village shared their experiences on natural adversities and declining price situation in addition to marketing problem.
They said they cultivated different types of winter vegetables including pumpkin, sweet pumpkin, sweet potato, brinjal, tomato, cucumber and bean.
A total of about Tk 6 lakh was spent in the cultivation with Tk 65,000 to 67,000 per acre. The expenditure included land preparing, purchase of seed, fertiliser, pesticide and tools.
This year's vegetable farming in the locality was hampered due to shortage of rain, hit of cyclone and repeated appearance of cold wave. The vegetable fields did not get matured on time following the natural causes.
Now the lately matured vegetable items are available in the markets in a huge volume; but the farmers are not getting expected price of their produce. Moreover, whatever the prices are, these are manipulated in the intermediary levels, and while being stored in warehouses. The growers are getting very dismal profits.
Growers are to reach their produce to different warehouses in Sonapur, Dutterhat, Pourabazaar, Begumganj-chaurasta and Chaumohoni.
On the basis of quality of the vegetables, warehouses take prices in a phase of seven/eight days. The growers' bargaining capacities are seized. Each time they are to count extra transport fare of Tk 250-300.
As a result, the price of one kilogram of warehoused vegetable declines to below Tk 10 even.
At the retail level, the vegetables are selling in high prices. Such as, per piece pumpkin is selling at Tk 70/80. Per kg tomato is selling at Tk 30/40, followed by bean at 30/35, sweet pumpkin at Tk 35/40, sweet potato at Tk 25/30, brinjal at Tk 35/40 and green chilli at Tk 40/45.
According to field sources, growers have been indebted for cultivating vegetables taking loans. They are now getting not any profits so as to repay their debts.
So the farmers are frustrated. Some of them are folding their interest from vegetable farming.
Gradual reduction in the size of farming land is taking place. It is resulting in imports of such items.
Southern Noakhali is experiencing losing of its tradition as a well-known vegetable region.
District Agriculture Officer D. Abul Hossain said lack of coordination of the growers with field workers of the agriculture office is responsible for this situation.
He also said, "Only few of them are consulting with the field workers," adding, "There are field workers in every areas."
The agriculture office is not being informed of the field condition, and the growers are getting shifted from vegetable farming, he added.
Regarding the intermediary's activities, he said, "We've not got any allegation," adding, "If received any, then mobile court shall be conducted to take necessary actions."
"We expect the growers will come to us for their benefits," he concluded.