statesman news service
SILIGURI, 28 JUNE: Can you imagine the price of cucumber is 40 paisa per kg! Farmers in Dhupguri under Jalpaiguri district are upset over the present price of cucumber when the wholesalers refused to pay a reasonable price for their produce. As a result, hundreds of farmers backed by the CPI-M peasant wing, Sara Bharat Krishak Sabha, dumped huge quantity of cucumber on the National Highway 31 and blocked the road over five hours demanding reasonable market price for their produces.
Notably, the minimum present rate of cucumber is Rs 10 per kg in Siliguri market.
Besides cucumber farmers are also upset over the present rate of bitter cucumber and ladies finger and other vegetables.
One of the farmers, identified as Muhammad Fazluddin, had to sell 20 kg ladies finger at the rate of Rs 12 only in the local market on Wednesday when the wholesalers refused to pay him a proper price so that he can make up the production cost of the vegetable.
In Dhupguri, which is famous for farming, the rate of bitter cucumber is 60 paisa per kg and ladies finger is 40 paisa per kg at the field.
One of the leaders associated with SBKS, Mr PG Bhawal, said: “The carrying cost of one quintal vegetable from field to market is Rs 50. If farmers do not get a proper production cost it would be very difficult for them to survive.”
Notably, the rate of ladies finger is Rs 10 per kg at Rajganj village in Jalpaiguri and Rs 18-20 per kg in the Siliguri retail market.
One of the wholesalers, Mr Meher Ali, said: “The supply of vegetable is higher than the present demand. Owing to the poor condition of the roads we are in no position to export the produce to other areas at present and in no position to pay them a higher price.”
Farmers demanding adequate cold storage blocked the National Highway today. The blockade was lifted after the administrative officials intervened. It was decided that the agriculture department under the leadership of block development officer along with the police would hold a meeting shortly with the wholesalers’ body to resolve the present problem.
The rate of vegetable production is on the rise due to a favourable climate. The region is receiving sufficient rain at night and appropriate sunlight.
Notably, the farmers had to throw out their produces like tomato, cabbage and green chili last winter when the wholesalers refused to pay reasonable prices.