NAOGAON: Vegetable growers in the district have been deprived of fair prices of their products since the beginning of the season.
A big portion of the profit is going to the pockets of the district’s middlemen who are purchasing and delivering the vegetables to different areas of the country almost every day.
According to sources at the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), a total of 15,060 hectares of land have been brought under vegetable farming in the district this year.
Potato, brinjal, cauliflower, cabbage and bean are some common vegetable varieties cultivated in the district every year, the sources added.
At the local wholesale markets, growers are selling cauliflower at Tk 4-5 a kilogram, cabbage at Tk 10-15, bean at Tk 10-12, carrot at Tk 15-20, potato at Tk 10-15, brinjal at Tk 15-20, tomato at Tk 20-25, and bottle gourd at Tk 10 per piece.
Due to low price, farmers cannot make a minimum profit against what they spent for farming purposes including seed, fertiliser, pesticide, irrigation and labour cost.
One Mokhlesur Rahman of Anantapur village under Naogaon sadar upazila said he cultivated bean on his 66 decimals of land spending Tk 70,000.
“Till now, I sold the beans only at Tk 65,000 and I cannot expect to have profit from my cultivation this season,” he added.
Peasant Moynal Hossain of Dhopaipur village under the upazila said, “I switched to vegetable farming from jute cultivation having incurred loss a few years back, but now I am witnessing loss here too.”
“As we cannot sell our products directly to the wholesalers of Dhaka and Chattogram, the local middlemen claim share in our hard-earned profit,” he alleged.
Agriculture officer Hasan Ali said, “The increase in supply has led to price fall of vegetables in the district. Moreover, the middlemen with almost no investment are sharing profit with farmers.”