Lack of marketing facility compels Lohit farmers to sell vegetables at throw away prices

WAKRO, 27 Apr: At a time when prices of all types of vegetables are spiraling upwards, the farmers of Wakro-Medo area in Lohit district are selling their crops at throwaway prices due to lack of proper marketing facilities.

It is stated that around 30 to 50 lakh tons of organic pumkins are produced every year in Medo area. But the farmers are not getting fair price as they cannot reach city markets to sell their crops.

Keeping it in view, the committee constituted by the Lohit DC for studying the under-pricing of pumpkin and other agriculture produce of Wakro-Medo area, in a meeting here on Wednesday decided, among others, to explore markets for the local famers to sell their agriculture produces so that they get fair prices for their crops.

The participants observed that the price offered to the farmers during the harvesting season (August-September) is Rs. 3-4 per kilo, whereas, the same pumpkins are sold for Rs. 100 per kilo at Tezu during March-April.

They also observed that traders’ manipulation, unauthorized taxation, unorganized marketing and zero marketing facility are some of the main factors influencing under pricing of pumpkins.

The committee headed by Wakro ADC Tamo Riba as chairman discussed way and means to mitigate the farmers’ woes by involving key persons, organizations, like the APMC and the traders.

The committee shouldered Namsai KVK with the responsibility of conducting a detailed study on the issue with help and funding from NABARD.

Other decisions taken during the meeting include organized marketing, creation of collection and storage centres, construction of market sheds, holding interaction between traders and growers, identification and establishment of link with bulk buyers from Assam especially, Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, Jorhat, Nagaon, Guwahati through APMC/marketing cell of the agriculture department, providing cold storage facility to the famers to avoid distress sale.

The meeting was attended by district agriculture officer N. Sumyan, Wakro and Tezu ADOs, GPC Bomteng Manyu and farmers. (DIPRO)