Farmers unable to recover production cost have to bear the brunt of selling perishables at low price in the market.
May 6, 2022
Bengaluru: Farmers growing vegetables with less shelf-life are unable to recover production cost and have to bear loss because the perishables are were not sold on time. Raju, a farmer who grows coconut and cauliflowers said, he invested Rs. 3000 in crop yields but got Rs. 500 in return.
Nalendra, another farmer from Devagiri who grows green beans, radishes, tomatoes and ladyfingers informed, “In the last 2 months, I have borne loss of Rs. 15,000 to Rs.20,000. In market, Rs. 80 is the price of the vegetables; I just get Rs. 20 on selling it. Even if I get Rs. 40, it will be okay. But they just give me Rs. 20 or Rs. 10. I don’t get a good rate for my vegetables in the market. Who will fill my loss? I don’t have any other way of livelihood.”
On the other hand, Department of Horticulture said farming is like a lottery. Profit and losses have to be incurred by all the farmers, be it small or large-scale. With farmers not having a fixed MSP (minimum selling price), market brunt prevails on them.
Assistant Director at Department of Horticulture in Lalbagh, Madhu Gowda said, “Government is not doing anything. For a small scale farmer, if he has grown 10 tonnes of tomatoes, he gets Rs. 2 per kg in the market. This condition is not operating here. We have not told them to grow tomatoes. It is their choice.”
Experts said that in India, 18 percent of the food and vegetables are wasted because of the under utilization of perishable products. They feel that there is a need of building better procurement and processing facilities urgently to reduce food wastage. Farmers profitability can be improved if educated how to store the waste.
Arvind Kumar, Vice-Chancellor at Rani Lakshmi Bai Central Agricultural University, Jhansi stressed on creating awareness among farmers. He added, “We have to teach farmers about the storage facilities. We have to make them aware about the quantity they should grow and the processing methodology. The whole problem is because of the lack of planning. Suppose, a farmer who grows tomatoes – they are unaware of the right area to grow. They just simply grow. When they grow and sell it in the market, farmers get low prices and that is where there net profit decreases to a great extent. It’s time for better planning where farmers should be advised about the right area, market, better connectivity, and how they can avail the benefits of e-marketing system through which they can know about the global requirement.”
Experts believed that there is a need to improve the supply chain process. In India, less than 5 percent of vegetables and food is processed, while in other countries the percentage is higher. Experts added if we start using improved processing technology like foreign countries, we can increase the shelf life of these perishables. . Farmers should be educated about the usage of canned products, dry vegetables, ready to eat products which will improve their profitability improves and storage techniques. . Due to the lack of access to the latest technology in farming and storage facilities they have to sell the produce in the nearby market at a low price. The processing sector needs attention for increasing the farmer’s profitability and storage facilities. This, in turn, will improve the food wastage in the country.