Farmer distributes 4 tons mangoes free in protest against traders quoting low prices

KAKINADA: A mango farmer at Nuziveedu in Eluru district has held a novel protest to highlight the grievances of the farmers amid an allegation that local merchants have formed into a cartel and keeping the prices of mangoes down. He loaded a tractor with Banganapalle mangoes and distributed them free of cost to the citizens.

The Nuziveedu farmers alleged that the traders are paying them only Rs 4,000 or so per tonne, against an expected price of Rs 12,000 per tonne that could help them recover the cost of cultivation and make a small profit. “The local traders are buying mangoes from us at cheap rates and then selling the produce to upcountry merchants at much higher prices,” they alleged.

The farmers have urged the authorities to take corrective steps.

Farmer Bekkam Rajagopal of Kotha Edara village of Agiripalli mandal in Eluru district expressed concern over the cartelization of the mango trade at the local levels. He distributed four tonnes of mangoes to the people free of cost by taking his tractor out from the Nuzvid sub-collector office to China Gandhi Bomma Centre on Sunday.

Rajgopal said he took the big-size Benganapalli variety of mangoes to the Bothanapalli mango market. Traders rated it at Rs 4,000 to Rs 6,000 per tonne. Disappointed, he took back the mangoes in the tractor and distributed them free.

Rajgopal told Deccan Chronicle that he cultivated mangoes in four acres of garden. He invested a lot to save the crop from pests and others. During the gale and rains ten days ago, the size of some varieties of mangoes has reduced due to adverse climatic conditions.

“I myself plucked the Nuziveedu Rasalu variety of mangoes from the trees and buried them in the ground due to lack of proper prices. Owing to the good demand for Benganapalli variety of mangoes in the market, I am paying special attention to the cultivation of this variety and the yield is satisfactory. But the traders are not quoting even a break-even rate,” he said.

He urged the government and the horticulture department to take the responsibility for providing minimum guarantee prices to the mangoes.

Meanwhile, social activist Allank Sureshbabu who supported the novel protest said the mango traders are looting the farmers. He pleaded that the government take steps to purchase the mangoes for a price of at least Rs 12,000 per tonne.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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