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Thứ Sáu, 7 tháng 7, 2017

India: Farmers suffer as middlemen call the shots

08 July 2017

Normally a kg of brinjal is being sold for Rs 40 whereas, the price of an organic brinjal is Rs 60 in the cities. Not only brinjal, the cost of any organic vegetable varies from Rs 5 to 15 against the normal vegetables cultivated with chemicals. 

But the tribal farmers, who are engaged in organic farming, are not getting any extra or remunerative price though there is a huge demand for organic vegetables in the district.

In the absence of the organic certification to the vegetables grown in the Agency areas, the tribal farmers are losing a good amount of revenue while the middlemen are being pocketing the money.  

Though the government has made it clear that the tribal welfare is one of its top priorities, it is not taking any steps to provide organic certification to the vegetables grown in Agency areas of north Andhra region. 

Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu gave an assurance to the tribal farmers that he would intervene and see it that the organic certification to the Agency branded vegetables was done, but his promise remained unfulfilled. 

In the wake of an increased awareness on health, the demand for organic vegetables and other eatables in the urban markets has risen. 

After keenly studying the present trends in the market, the shopping malls and vegetable traders are procuring the organic vegetables from the Agency areas of the north Andhra Region at a cheaper price. They are procuring the organic vegetables on par with regular vegetable prices and selling them at a higher price in the open markets. 

After observing the huge demand in the market for the organic vegetables, the directorate of horticulture has on several occasions announced that the organic certification would be obtained from the authorities concerned. 

However, except for turmeric and cashew crops in some places in VisakhapatnamA, the authorities failed to get the organic certification for the Agency branded vegetables. 

"There is a big demand for the organic vegetables in the open market. Neither the GCC nor the ITDA are taking any steps to get the certification done", one of the former Project Officers of Paderu ITDA lamented. 

With certification, the tribal farmers would get minimum Rs 5 and Rs 15 maximum for a kg of vegetables, the former ITDA project officer added.

When the issue was raised with the Project Officer of the Horticulture of ITDA, Paderu, he conceded that there was a delay in getting the certification done and said that they were taking steps  to get done it fast.

 "At present, we have obtained organic certification for only turmeric and cashew nuts in some parts in the Agency and we will try to get it for other organic vegetables too.  The ITDA is also pursuing the issue seriously," G Prabhakar, Paderu ITDA Horticulture Officer told Hans India here on Friday. 

By VKL Gayatri

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