COIMBATORE: As the retail price of the cabbage plummets below `5 per kg, farmers claim to be reeling under huge loss as they could not gain back even the input cost of the season.
M Vadivel, a cabbage farmer who cultivated 1.25 acres at Mathampatti in Thondamuthur block, said, “We had spent up to `45,000 as input cost per acre for cultivating cabbage. But the reducing procurement price this season has become a financial burden. Now, the price has plummeted to `4 - 5 a kg. The transport cost for a sack (50 kg) of cabbage has was increased recently from `40 to `50 by vehicle operators due to diesel price hike. Apart from this, we spend `15 for one sack for fertilizers and other necessities and 80 paise as commission for traders.”
“The cost of short-term crops such as onion and tomato reduce often in the market, so a section of farmers shifted to cabbage cultivation. Now due to the price drop, these farmers are locked in deep economical trouble. If the vegetable is sold at least `8 per kg, we could get back input cost,” he added.
R Periyasamy, Vice President of Tamilaga Vivasayigal Sangam, said, “The 120 day-crop yields 8-9 tonne in an acre. The majority of farmers in the Thondamuthur block cultivated the crop. The prices this season plunged due to huge imports from neighbouring states and districts. The agriculture department must, at least, provide priority to local farmers while selling the produce at Uzhavar Sandhais directly as a solution for this issue. Currently, traders have occupied stalls after procuring produce from The Nilgiris.” He demanded the department fix a minimum supportive price.