BENGALURU: “Even after putting in efforts for over three months, we are hardly getting a rupee as profit after spending on transporation and other expenses, whereas middlemen are making triple the profit in just three minutes. This is because the state government hasn’t fixed any rates for vegetables,’’ Narayana Gowda, one of the farmers in Kolar district, said.Since there is no minimum support price (MSP) for food grains and crops, the pricing of fruits and vegetables is left to the market forces.
Narayana Gowda, who is from Hosmatanahalli in Kolar district, said, over `70,000 is spent to grow vegetables in an acre. The cost includes pesticides and other agro-based expenses. “We grow and take care of it for three months day and night. But in return, we get pittance. The middlemen are rampant.
Now that the supply is more than the demand in the market, the middlemen are purchasing tomato, beans and brinjal for `3 each (per kg), capcicum for `15 and ladies finger for `5 (per kg). We are not getting any profit. Whatever we are getting we are spending it on transporation and also for the coolies at our farms. The coriander leaves are sold at `10 per bundle. One can imagine our plight. Where should we go?’’ he asked.
Srinivasa, another farmer demanded that farmers’ flea market be held at every panchayath or hobli level once a week or fortnight. “At least we can go sell our products directly to the consumers, and get some profit. We can also avoid the middlemen,’’ he said.Chennagowda, a farmer who grows tomatoes in Kolar, said tomato price came down to `4 per kilo to `3 a few days ago. In fact, it even went down to `2 last month. “We put in a lot of effort to grow it for 100 days, but this is what we get. Every political party leader comes to us before elections with assurances, but nothing is done. If we do not get money, how can we take care of our wives and children, ‘’ he said.