Nagpur: The farmers’ blockade at Delhi has hit orange growers of Vidarbha and kinnow farmers in the north alike. Both citrus fruits are alternatives to each other, and the strike has hampered movement of both fruits from production centres, leading to a glut in the respective states.
The Nagpur orange has a major market in Delhi and neighbouring areas. kinnow on the other hand, which is grown in the bordering areas between Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan, has market in western and eastern states.
The oranges that were supposed to go up north are now landing up at the local markets, which has kept the rates low. The orange season itself began on a bearish note, as rains had affected the quality bringing down the price to Rs10 to 12 a kg, as against average Rs25 a kg last year. As the season ends, rates of better quality oranges have inched up to Rs14.
Even kinnow has the same story of first rains hitting the quality and then the strike. At present kinnow is priced at Rs8 to 11 a kg. The Nagpur orange, which is slightly costlier, is at a disadvantage against the kinnow, said traders and cultivators.
Manoj Jawanjal, a farmer from Katol and director of Mahaorange — a state government marketing agency, said Delhi and northern states have been a major market for oranges. Strike has hampered the movement. This has led to oversupply in local markets, and the rates have barely improved even as the season is ending.
Animesh Jhakkar, a kinnow grower from Haryana, who also runs a waxing unit, said, “The strike has led to closure of the Azadpur mandi in Delhi. The contractors purchasing fruit are mainly funded by traders at Azadpur. As the market is closed, the contactors are short of money. This has affected buying, bringing down the rates. Even the quality has been affected due to unseasonal rains.”
“It was expected that kinnow would get a rate of around Rs18 a kg for the better grade this year but it is in the range of Rs10 to 12. The plucking season has only begun from December and will continue till February,” said director horticulture in Punjab, Shailender Kaur.
The officer agreed that bottlenecks in transport can be one of the reasons for low prices for kinnow. “However, there is no excessive production of the fruit. If the rates are down it would be mainly due to factors related to trade,” she said.
Back at Nagpur, Rajesh Chabrani, a trader at Kalamna Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC), said there are a number of other factors too. Even freight has gone up due to rising diesel rates, which has impacted orange transport apart from low rates of kinnow being a factor.
Farmers differed on the degree of impact of the strike and kinnow rates, but agreed that the two were major factors.
Suresh Tatode, also from Katol, said that even trade with Bangladesh is not so smooth. Easier exports would have helped in supporting the rates, he said.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *