Palakkad farmers harvest vegetables early, prices crash

The untimely rain lashing the district has hit vegetable farmers hard as their crops are getting damaged.

Published: 16th May 2022 05:53 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2022 05:53 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

PALAKKAD:   The untimely rain lashing the district has hit vegetable farmers hard as their crops are getting damaged. They are also finding it difficult to sell their produce in the retail market as the price offered cannot even cover the labour and transportation charges.

The flooding of the market with the produce from neighbouring states has also led to a crash in prices. Around seven tonnes of vegetables have been produced this summer by the Pallathpadi Vegetable Producers’ Collective but they have been unable to sell them.

The retail outlets in the towns nearby prefer the cheaper vegetables from Tamil Nadu. The rain lashing the district in the last two to three days has also damaged crops. The 15 farmer members of the collective have produced 3,500kg of white gourd, 3,000kg of pumpkin and 500kg of cucumber.

Around 1,600kg of white gourd and 1,000kg of pumpkin could be plucked before the rain started. If the rain continues, there could be more damage to the vegetables, said K Anil Kumar, one of the 15 farmers. The farmers said they have approached Horticorp, but it says it can procure only 500kg of white gourd and 1.500kg of pumpkin.

They do not know what to do with the remaining produce. Be it the white gourd, pumpkin or cucumber, it fetches only Rs 8-12 per kilogram in the open market. If the produce were to be sold to Horticorp, vegetables need to be transported to its depot in Kallekad which is more than 40km away.

Moreover , the farmers will get payment only after seven to eight months, said Anil Kumar. The farmers demand the department of agriculture to make available storage facilities for the produce.


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