Thursday, 2 December, 2021
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Cut out the middlemen!

Cut out the middlemen!

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The common people are now facing a double whammy of income loss due to the coronavirus pandemic and increased expenditure. The price of essential commodities has increased excessively in the last couple of months, compelling people to spend almost double to meet their daily needs. However, consumers’ extra expenditure has not benefited the producers. Farmers are mostly under paid while the income of the middlemen is bloating gradually.

A report published in yesterday’s Daily Sun highlights the jaw-dropping difference of prices of various winter vegetables between producers’ level and consumers’ level. The price of winter vegetables in local markets is too low to recoup the harvesting cost of farmers, while those produce are sold in markets located in towns and cities at a price unaffordable to lower and middle-income people. It is not the case with winter vegetables only; the same happens almost all the time.

Actually, the nonexistence of a proper market chain has been creating suffering not only for the poor of both ends – the consumers and the farmers, but also for the country in the long run, in a broader sense. Continued loss in agriculture is pushing farmers to opt for other occupations leaving their traditional ones, and many of them have already changed their professions as different statistics say. Prolonging their agony for some more years will surely leave few farmers to continue their age-old profession, jeopardising the country’s success in self-dependency in food production that provides us with the strong foundation to dream of becoming a developed country. The price hike also leads the country to inflation and is pushing more people below the poverty line.

Therefore, developing a proper market chain is of the essence of stabilising markets in order to protect the interest of farmers and consumers. Besides, regular monitoring must be conducted in markets so that none can make unjust profits. If someone turns a deaf ear to business ethics and disobeys the rules and regulations, they should be brought to book. Stern actions must be taken against dishonest middlemen to halt the practice of making an unjust profit by increasing prices. The authorities concerned must act in the quickest possible time.