Middlemen suck blood of farmers

ANM Mohibub Uz Zaman

22 November, 2020 12:00 AM printer

Farmers are being deprived of huge profits from their agricultural produce as middlemen buy their crops at lower prices and sell them at higher prices at different kitchen markets.

Sources said many farmers have to sell crops and vegetables at lower prices to middlemen on different grounds amid the soaring prices of agricultural produce at the city markets.

Experts said middlemen are eating into the profits which farmers should get by selling their produce at the farm level.

They, however, have blamed the multi-layered system of middlemen involved in the sales of agricultural produce from farms to consumers, for the farmers’ deprivation of proper profits.

Vegetable prices are 100-200 per cent price higher in the kitchen market than the farm level, according to the information by the Department of Agricultural Marketing (DAM).

The middlemen are bagging huge profits through depriving farmers of the production cost of their produce, they added.

Farm economist Professor ASM Golam Hafeez said chain farmers are not getting fair prices of their produce for lack of a proper marketing channel.

“Sometimes, farmers throw away their vegetables, but consumers in the major cities have to buy vegetables at higher prices,” he said.

The farm economist also said the market chain has also collapsed during the coronavirus pandemic that also shot up vegetable prices in the capital and other major cities.

“Farmers don’t have the opportunity to enter the urban market. They have to depend on middlemen, who eventually make hefty profits while farmers are deprived of fair prices of their produces.”

“We have to create a modern marketing system to resolve this problem,” he said, adding that value-addition and developing market chain are needed for this.

Bean was selling at Tk 120-140 a kg in the capital on Sunday while the item was selling at Tk 35-40 per kg in Kushtia, Meherpur, Rangpur and some other adjacent districts.

The wholesale price of bean was Tk 40-46 per kg in the capital on Monday, according to data of the Department of Agriculture Marketing (DAM).  

Farmers in Kushtia are selling eggplant at Tk 25-30 (different quality) per kg. Eggplant was selling at Tk 80-100 per kg in the capital. The wholesale price of eggplant was Tk 30-40 per kg in the capital on Monday, according to DAM.

The retail price of Palwal was Tk 35-40 per kg in Kushtia, Tk 38-42 per kg in Meherpur on Monday. The price shot up to Tk 60-80 per kg in the capital.

The retail price of the bitter guard was Tk 70-80 per kg in the capital against the wholesale price of Tk 35-40 on Monday. The price was Tk 20-25 per kg in Kushtia, Meherpur and adjacent areas.

Cucumber price was selling at Tk 20-25 a kg in Kushtia and Tk 25 in Meherpur on Monday. But its retail price was Tk 60-70 per kg against the wholesale price of Tk 30-38 per kg in the capital.

Radish price was Tk 15-20 per kg in Kushtia on Monday. Its retail price was Tk 40-50 per kg against the wholesale price of Tk 20-30 per kg in the capital.

Cauliflower was selling at Tk 45-50 per piece in the capital while the item traded at Tk 30-40 per piece at the wholesale market in the capital on Monday. The price was Tk 15-20 per piece in Kushtia and Tk 20 per piece in Meherpur on the same day. 

Cabbage was selling at Tk 45-50 per piece against the wholesale price of Tk 25-35 per piece in the capital on Monday. The item was selling at Tk 15-20 per piece in Kushtia and Tk 18 per piece in Meherpur on the same day.

The retail prices of cabbage, turnip, radish, spinach, bottle gourd leaf, red amaranth, mustard and green amaranth are also much higher than the prices in wholesale markets in the capital and at the growers level.

Mohammad Yousuf, director general of the Department of Agricultural Marketing (DAM), told the Daily Sun that they will fix the retail and wholesale prices of vegetables soon after holding meetings with stakeholders.

Local sources said farmers are selling winter vegetables at throwaway prices. Taking the advantage, some unscrupulous middlemen are bagging huge profits. 

In the 2019-20 FY, a total of 1.72 crore metric tonnes vegetables were produced in the country, according to the statistics from the Agriculture Ministry.


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