NALGONDA: The promised market yards for sweet lime, tindora and lemon in Nalgonda district still remain on paper. Foundation stones were laid for the three markets but nothing has been done later to complete them. Result: Farmers continue to be exploited by middlemen. The state government sanctioned a lemon market at Nakrekal a year ago, a tindora (Ivy gourd/dondakaya) market at Konamallepally mandal headquarters eight months ago and a sweet lime (mosambi/battayi) market at the Nalgonda district headquarters four months ago.
Marketing minister T Harish Rao and district minister G Jagadish Reddy laid the foundation stones for the construction of the three market yards at respective places. Among the three, tindora farmers are suffering most with declining price. The vegetable is raised in about 1,500 acres of land, mostly in Pedda Adisharlapally, Peddavoora, Gurrampode and Nalgonda mandals. Livelihood of about 2,000 farmers depends on this crop.
They got the best price in the last two years but this year because of the glut in production, middlemen bought the produce at prices lesser than what the farmers expected. In the last two years, middlemen purchased 50 kg of ‘nag tindora’ for Rs 500 to Rs 600. This year, the asking rate is a measly Rs 20 to Rs 30 for the same quantity. But they are selling it in the open market for Rs 500 to Rs 600. Farmers spend Rs 80 towards labour charges to pluck the vegetable from creepers, another Rs 7 for one gunny bag and Rs 10 as transport charges for each bag — a total of Rs 107. But middlemen are offering a price only between Rs 20 and Rs 30 for a 50-kilo bag. Fruits and Vegetable Farmers Association district secretary K Nagi Reddy told Express that the state government had made false promises to farmers and cheated them.