Upset over poor returns, Guj farmers distribute garlic for free

Upset over a sharp fall in garlic prices in the open market as well as in the Agriculture Producer Market Committee (APMC), the farmers are distributing their produce for free among the poor.

On Saturday, Gujarat Kisan Sangathan will distribute 4000 kilogram of garlic in Gandhinagar.

Gujarat Kisan Sangathan state president Gajendrasinh Zala told IANS that per acre garlic production cost comes to Rs 37,100 and the per acre garlic yield is 3000 kilogram. Today, the market rate of garlic has crashed with 20 kilogram costing just Rs 150. So, the farmer is hardly earning Rs 22.50 for crops harvested on one acre of land.

His grievances are that farmers are making a net loss of Rs 14,600 per acre. The farmers’ long-pending demand that the state and central government announce MSP for horticulture crops too, also have fallen on deaf ears. Sadly, even when the market prices are crashing, the governments are not stepping in to help.

If in this season, the farmers don’t fetch good prices, the cultivation in December will be comparatively less, this will lead to shortage in next year, creating other problems, he said.

According to the State Horticulture Director’s official data in the year 2021-22, farmers had cultivated garlic on 26,013 hectares of land and the production was 2,02,828 Metric ton.

Reacting to the crisis, Agriculture Minister Raghavji Patel told mediapersons in Rajkot that as it is a central government’s subject, he will take up the matter with the Centre to fix MSP for garlic.

Expressing shock over the protest, Gujarat State Cooperative Marketing Federation (GujCOMasol) chairman Dilip Sanghani assured the farmers of finding out a solution by producing value added products and manufacturing it so that the farmers don’t have to sell their produce at a throw away price.

20221029-115202

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