28 May 2021, Indore: Owing to the lock-down, and unplanned closure of the mandis (markets) of Madhya Pradesh for the second year in a row, vegetable and fruit growing farmers are suffering a lot due to their failure to sell produce. The situation has become worst this year as vegetable crop standing in the field is being fed to the cattle.
A farmer from village Boria (Betma) of Indore district, Mr. Satish Makwana told Krishak Jagat that he planted Okra in one and a half bigha (1 Bigha = 0.61 Acres). Inputs included seeds, fertilizers and agrochemicals which costed him upto 35 thousand. “We are not able to sell. The okra crop has to be plucked in every two days, but how do we sell in the market?”, said the farmer. Cost of harvesting Okra is too high and that is why it had to be fed to the animals. “This loss of vegetable growers should be compensated by the administration”, said the farmer.
In the same way, Mr. Govind Tejkaran Chandel, a farmer of village Chatwada (Depalpur), also planted Okra in 4 bighas. The rate of okra seeds was Rs. 3,800 per kg. A good sum was spent in fertilizer application. “I was able to sell the crop in the mandi only three times. Now the crops are not being sold due to the closure of mandis. I could not even recover the cost of inputs.” said Mr. Govind. He had to used a tractor for ploughing the full-grown crop and left two bighas of standing crop in the second field for the sheep to graze.
The same unfortunate situation is for the watermelon and coriander growers. Mr. Vinod Kalyan Singh of village Baloda Tacoon told Krishak Jagat that he planted watermelon in about 3 bighas. The crop was also good, but couldn’t sell as the mandi remained closed. While the cost of 60 thousand has been incurred in seeds, manuring and agrochemicals, etc., the produce due to being bulky, cannot be sold on stalls as well. It can be sold in bulk in carts, which is not possible right now. Farmer Mr. Vikas Sajjan Singh of Beganda (Depalpur) planted coriander in two bighas, which cost about ten thousand, but due to the closure of the mandi, he is unable to sell the crop which is drying up in the field.
The situation is the same for all farmers. On this agony of farmers, Mr. Bablu Jadhav, President of the Indian Farmers Mazdur Army, said “Without the planned strategy and immediate closure of mandis has created havoc for the vegetable growers. Farmers have suffered huge losses, whose compensation should be paid to them by the government.”