Even though vegetables are grown in different markets of Shailkupa, farmers are not getting fair price. Photo: Today’s NewspaperShailkupar farmers in Jhenaidah are not getting fair price for winter vegetables due to blockade. The traders are not paying the right price when they come to sell the vegetables in the market, as a result of which the farmers have suffered losses. They are fearing that the vegetables will spoil before they can be eaten because they cannot sell the vegetables on time.
The ongoing blockade, like the farmers of the whole country, has also put worry on the foreheads of the vegetable farmers of various areas of the upazila, including Sheikhpara Madandanga, Charaibil Bhatai Bazar, which is famous for vegetables. Farmers say that they have to sell vegetables at less than half price as there are not enough buyers and sellers in the market. And the traders say that the transportation crisis is at an extreme due to the blockade. So they are not able to buy enough vegetables and take them to Mokam, for which the price is slightly lower in the local market.
The upazila’s Sheikhpara and Madandanga markets are visited, usually the number of wholesalers who used to come to the market, due to the blockade, fewer wholesalers were seen. Due to less wholesalers in the market and more supply of vegetables, farmers are getting lower prices. Wholesalers are buying vegetables as per their requirement. Wholesalers can be seen buying vegetables such as green chilli, radish, cabbage, brinjal, banana, gourd, bean etc. in the market. Due to the blockade, the number of pickups and trucks to carry vegetables is also less. The wholesalers said that the transport cost has increased even though something has been seen.
Eggplant is being sold at Tk 500-600 per type, cabbage at Tk 700-800, radish at Tk 300-400, beans at Tk 1100-1200. Meanwhile, farmers selling vegetables are worried due to not getting fair price.
Farmer Akkach Ali of Vasantpur village said, ‘I came to the market with 10 maunds of brinjal and 5 maunds of flowers. I sold brinjal for 600 taka and cabbage for 800 taka. Due to blockade, vegetables are not getting fair price. Wholesalers are asking the price as desired. Must sell immediately. We have to count the losses due to the increase in the price of fuel oil, fertilizers and agricultural materials as well as the continuous blockade.
Eggplant brought for sale in Sheikhpara market. Photo: Today’s NewspaperChana Uddin, a farmer of Madandanga village, said, ‘I am unable to pay the money for fertilizer, seeds, pesticides and fuel oil for irrigation from moneylenders for vegetable cultivation. Due to the blockade, there has been a severe shortage of truck-pickups to transport vegetables. This has affected our vegetables, resulting in losses. We are not getting fair price for vegetables.’
Rabiul Islam, a wholesaler from Khulna said, ‘Naturally there is a panic among everyone due to strike and blockade. Transport movement is low and fares are high. As a result, I am not buying more vegetables. Even if we buy vegetables from the farmers at a slightly lower price, we are not seeing much profit due to the increased cost of transportation.’
Rezaul Islam Khan, President of Sheikhpara Bazar Malik Samiti, said that many farmers returned home disappointed because they did not get the price of vegetables in the market on the first day of the blockade. Now the truck fare for sending the purchased vegetables to Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet has also increased from Tk 10,000 to Tk 12,000. Many people are not willing to take the risk of transporting goods due to the blockade, resulting in low prices of vegetables in the market.
Shailkupa Upazila Additional Agriculture Officer Abul Hasnat said, ‘We produce more vegetables in this upazila. Vegetables go to different cities including Dhaka from here. Because of the blockade, vegetables are not going out properly, so the price is a little low for now. But if the situation is normal, I hope the farmers will get a fair price for the vegetables.’