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Farmers hit hard as prices of veggies fall

Say demonetisation drive and increased cost of labour have been a big blow to their profession23 Feb 2017 | 12:44 AM

BATHINDA: The area under vegetables this year has witnessed an increase as compared to the last year in Bathinda and Mansa districts but farmers are unhappy due to the fallen prices of the produce, especially peas.

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Tribune News Service

Bathinda, February 22

The area under vegetables this year has witnessed an increase as compared to the last year in Bathinda and Mansa districts but farmers are unhappy due to the fallen prices of the produce, especially peas.

They say the demonetisation move and the labour cost had hit their profession.

At Bhenibagha village of Mansa district, farmers have brought over 500 acres under vegetables that include capsicum, tomato, peas and potato.

They claim that this time, due to fall in prices of vegetables, they have not been able to recover their input cost.

Farmers said the labour cost for collecting each kilogram of peas from the field was Rs 4, whereas the price they are getting in the market was Rs 5 to Rs 6 per kilogram.

In Bathinda, the area under capsicum crop has increased to 130 hectares from 120 hectares.

The area under pea crop is 152 hectares, increased from the last year’s 127 hectares.

Similarly, the area under tomato crop is 260 hectares from last year’s 212 hectares.

As much as 6,500 hectares have been brought under potato cultivation from last year’s 6,000 hectares.

President of BKU Dkaunda, Gora Singh, said, “The farmers are badly hit by demonetisation. The most negative impact has been on vegetables. Its the worst time for farmers in history. In Bhainibhaga, farmers had sown capsicum in hundreds of acres after being convinced by the speeches of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and guidance of agriculture officials during kisan melas, who urged us to get out of the wheat-paddy circle.”

“Initially, the government asks farmers to adopt diversification by sowing vegetables. Later, the vegetable farmers are ruined by anti-farmer policies. The growing economic losses from agriculture have driven many farmers to commit suicide. The Central government should compensate the farmers by giving financial aid in times of losses. MSP of these vegetables should be set,” he added.

Farmers hit hard as prices of veggies fallFarmers claim that this time, due to fall in prices of vegetables, they have not been able to recover their input cost. A Tribune Photograph

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