NIZAMABAD : From chilli to turmeric farmers, the price issue has been giving sleepless night to all of them, and now it has come to haunt the mango farmers in Nizamabad district. Dried mangoes are used in making amchoor, an alternative for tamarind in preparing food items. The commodity is widely consumed in north India as well as several Arab countries. However, with a fall in the mango prices this year, the farmers are a troubled lot.
Expressing displeasure on the present situation, the farmers said that in comparison to the last three years, the situation is bad this year. Several farmers from Nizamabad, Karimnagar and Medak districts are in the occupation of preparing amchoor since years. However, this year has been bad for them, they claim.
The amchoor business
Amchoor is prepared from dried mangoes. Several reputed firms are involved in this business. As part of the agriculture activity, farmers hire mango orchards as well as purchase mangoes from the open market to prepare amchoor. The Nizamabad Market Yard is the second largest Market Yard for Amchoor after Hyderabad.
In May, farmers brought 9,529 quintals of dried mangoes to the market and in the first week of June they brought another 1,250 quintals. The average price has been fixed at Rs 14,100 per quintal. Meanwhile, last year the farmers got Rs 18,500 a quintal.
M Sailu, a farmer from the district, said that they were facing huge losses this year and could not even get the labour charges by selling off the produce. Another farmer V Satteiah, a native of Induprial village of Medak, said that only if they get `20,000 per quintal will they achieve minimum price. Expressing dissatisfaction towards the way the Market Yard functions, the farmers said: “Since the last several years only three businessmen have been purchasing the produce in the yard. Officials are not encouraging new business persons to purchase the produce.”
What authorities say
Amchoor, being a sensitive commodity, can be damaged even with a slight increase in moisture. Farmers, therefore, want to clear off the stocks as soon as possible. Meanwhile, Market Yard staff opined that since the market has been flooded with mangoes after a bumper crop this year, the price of mangoes has gone down. When contacted, Nizamabad Agriculture Yard secretary S Sangaiah said the amchoor business depends on international market as the commodity is mostly consumed abroad.
“We did not have any powers to discourage or encourage the purchasers at the Market yard,” he added.