Saturday 24 December 2011

Volatile Vegetable Market: Farmers Are in Crisis

     In my earlier post title “Meddling by middleman in Agriculture produce marketing” some ideas had been reflected as to how the actual producers get affected due to situation.

Vegetable production scenario of the state:-

    In Tripura, not all places are famed for vegetable cultivation and production. It is happening in handful of places in different districts and sub-division of the state as mentioned below:
        Sonamura west Tripura district
        Melaghar West Tripura district
        Udaipur South Tripura district
        Masli North Tripura district
        Pecharthal North Tripura districts
        Jolaibari South Tripura districts

     The above mentioned places are known to produce different types of winter vegetables which meet the over all demands of the state. Of course, in other places also more or less winter and summer vegetables are cultivated and produced but most prominently in the above mentioned places.
      Farmers of the above mentioned areas are already spontaneously motivated for vegetable cultivation due to long association, practices and trends. They require less external intervention for adoption of new vegetable varieties in their areas.

Present trends of vegetable market:-

      During last few weeks, there were some signs of relief on the face of vegetable buyers of Agartala area due to sudden or abrupt price decline in vegetable markets especially the vegetables like cauliflower and cabbage. But, what is the condition of the growers that vegetable growers who compelled sale their produce in cheap rate?
      Cauliflower and cabbage which were used to sold in rupees fifty and thirty per kilogram till one month ago could be available within range of rupees fifteen and ten per kilogram respectively on date.
    In some places, a whole cabbage and cauliflower weighing one and half kilograms and half kilograms could be available with rupees five and eight respectively.

Reason of vegetable market crash:-

      Media has been critical enough to blame the situation to the Government for encouraging the farmers to go for vegetable cultivation. However, this is not the topic of elaboration on blame game but a view points on vegetable cultivation in the state. Some assumes it is due to surplus production but it should not be the case.
     Well, in Tripura, vegetable production especially the vegetable crops like cauliflower, cabbage and different types of beans could not be considered as surplus production and present market crash should not also be construed as surplus production.
Now, the point that comes naturally is; where these farmers do markets their products. Is there any facility for inter state trans-shipment of vegetable produce of Tripura?
     Answer to the first question is; farmers’ sale their produce in their locality and some of their produce also transported to capital city and nearest district / sub-divisional head quarters for meeting the localized varied requirements.
    Answer to the latter question is; vegetables from Masli area under north Tripura district is said to be trans-shipped to the adjoining states.
     Now, what happens to the vegetable growing belts during the season is; growers try to ship their products in high market area but ends up in local market due to which there is heaping up of vegetable produce and products sold in lower prices and loss to the vegetable growers.
     The fact is vegetable produce is not distributed properly to the other areas where there are demands for the products. In Tripura, vegetable production is not uniform as already mentioned so there would definitely be requirement in different places.
     The products needs to be marketed and for good marketing to happen it has to be transported in different places for tapping the market opportunity. Now, there is requirement for good transportation facility in affordable rates. Transportation facilities are available but how to know the market conditions of the other areas? And, what is the source farmers should rely?
    This is a typical situation; who would judge the market trends? Is it market / merchant association or Government? This is the tricky situation because; merchant association would be looking after the welfare of the local businessman and try to maintain the profitable trends of different produce in their local market.
   The source of information should be authentic and reliable for facilitating good and profitable markets for different vegetable produce in different markets.
     Now the condition is; consumer is happy, but only occasionally media is drawing the attention. In the midst of all some voices and pictures are becoming blurred and it is none other than the farmers and growers who finally will pay heavy dividend for the market onslaught.
     Vegetable growers for that matter all the farmers should have the knowledge of decision making for taking the future course of action in the form of selecting suitable crops in particular season considering the previous trends and future prospects otherwise condition would repeat in infinite times.
   Agritangkol dated 09.12.2011 at 05.17 P.M

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