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Vegetables run on waste on field, farmers counting loss

  • Published at 12:09 pm December 14th, 2013
Vegetables run on waste on field, farmers counting loss

Thousands of vegetable growers in Narsingdi are frustrated and had to accept financial loss as they cannot sell vegetables because of continuous blockades and general strikes imposed by the BNP-led 18-party alliance.  

Farmers in Shibpur, Belabo, Polash, Raipura and Narsingdi sadar had to see their vegetables run to waste on the fields as they could not supply the products to the markets.  

Most of the vegetable growers were forced to sell the vegetables in the local markets at nominal prices as wholesale buyers could not purchase and carry the vegetables to their respective districts because of lack of vehicles.

Abdul Jalil, a farmer at Masumpur village under Shibpur upazila, said he cultivated cauliflower, cabbage, bean and radish on around 5 hectors of land. He had to sell almost all his production at lower prices in local markets as no wholesale buyers were able to come and buy the vegetables because of nationwide blockade.

Like Abdul Jalil, several farmers of Belabo, Shibpur and Raipura described their miseries  caused by the political activities like blockades and hartals as they cannot send their produce to the capital and other places where the products have higher demands and from where they can get good prices.

Farmers said in one hand they cannot sell their products on time, on the other hand they do not have any cold storage facilities in the districts to preserve these perishable vegetables.

Under these circumstances, thousands of farmers have been selling their produce at prices much lower than the production costs.

Abdur Karim, a wholesale businessman at Jangi Shibpur bazar of Raipura upazila, said markets, where buyers from different districts come and purchase the goods, are empty as no one can travel from one place to another because of constant blockades and general strikes.

Abu Siddique, another wholesaler and one of the leaders of the Samobay Samity of Baroicha bazar, pleaded to the government to ensure security for vehicles carrying commodities like vegetables.

The leaders also requested to the opposition leader to keep vegetable loaded vehicles out of the blockade programmes.

A number of vehicles loaded with vegetables, rice and daily necessary commodities were burned to ashes across the country during the blockades and nationwide general strikes.

Official sources said farmers of Narsingdi district have cultivated winter vegetables on around 9500 hectares land this season and are reaping a good production of vegetables.  

But the recent political mayhem during blockades and general strikes deprived them to get good prices from their production. 

Farmers from different upazilas of the district said now their main concern is to find a way out to compensate their losses, otherwise many of them would be in trouble to start cultivation in the next session.

An official at Shibpur Upazila Agriculture Department also admitted that vegetables were left to be damaged at the field as there is no transportation facilities to carry the goods to the markets.

Now per piece cauliflower is selling at Tk7 to 8, pumpkin at Tk15, cabbage at Tk8 to tk10, per kg bean at Tk15, papaya at Tk8, tomato at Tk35, and aubergine at Tk18 per kg.

Besides those, all other vegetables prices are also coming down every day as supply is much higher in comparison to the demand in the local market.

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