Farmers have no say over price, while middlemen rake in the moolah

Taking mangoes from their garden to the Nunna market is an anxious moment for farmers and the anxiety is certainly about the uncertainty over the price they would be offered at the market. But, the trend says farmers have been the losers here, while the merchants and middlemen rake in the moolah. Thanks to the secret auction.

The mango business in the city is a traditional trade for upcountry merchants who come here from New Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai during summer . As a practice, they lease out shops in the market, considered to be the largest mango market in the world, to run the business. They procure mangos here and export them to far off places across the world.

Mango is cultivated in about 65,000 hectares in Krishna district. Of late, there has been a decline in the acreage to 50,000 hectares as per the market sources.

“The farmer’s role is over as he unloads the stock at the market. The next stage is a secret auction by merchants who use secret codes for bidding. In the auction, traders and middlemen are the most benefited lot and farmers are left at the discretion of middlemen for prices,” said C.T.Srinivasa Rao, a mango grower. Even the authorities are unable to change this ‘secret’ auction system in which quality of fruit does not matter and farmers have no say, Mr Rao said.’

Information centre

Way back, there was a Mango Price Information Centre inaugurated by the then MP Lagadapati Rajagopal but it did not function for more than a few days. The centre was set up to keep farmers informed about the price in different metros on a real-time basis. The role of Marketing Department seems to be limited to collecting cess and providing basic amenities. Regional Joint Director K. Srinivasa Rao said that there had been a long-pending demand from farmers that the auction be made open and a Mango Board be constituted.

More In: Vijayawada