They distribute their entire yellow cucumber harvest of the day free of cost
The syndicated traders have allegedly been fleecing them
They want Collector to intervene to ensure fair deal
KHAMMAM: A group of farmers staged a novel protest near the Collectorate on Tuesday putting up for their entire yellow cucumber harvest of the day for free distribution. They find themselves at the receiving end because of the manipulation of syndicate of commission agents in the vegetable market. The syndicate had allegedly been fleecing the growers who are already hit hard by the drought conditions.
The growers had no option but to sell the yellow cucumber at Re. 1 a kg. There were instances when they sold other vegetables at 50 paise a kg. The syndicated traders in turn had been selling the same stock in retail at Rs. 10 a kg. Challa Narasimha Rao, a traditional yellow cucumber farmer from Panditapuram village, who came to the vegetable market with 10 quintals of stock had a bitter experience.
He found no takers for his stock except for the syndicated traders who wanted him to dispose the stock at Rs. 100 per quintal or take it back. He tried to draw the attention of the market authorities, but to no avail. Out of sheer frustration, dumped his stock in front of the Collectorate for free distribution. Many office-goers could collect the fresh yellow cucumber free of cost from the farmers.
Narasimha Rao had spent over Rs. 15,000 on the crop per acre. Transportation of the stock to the market involved additional expenditure. He alleged that three influential traders had been controlling the entire market and it was time for the intervention of the Collector to ensure a fair deal for the farmers.
Ponnekanti Venkateswar Rao another grower from Gondepudi village in Juluropadu village said the drought had its bearing on the vegetable cultivation this year. The growers expecting had no voice in the market. The elected representatives had no time and concern for the vegetable farmers. He said the traders who had been selling vegetables at Rs. 10 to Rs. 5 a kg, offer the farmers just less than one tenth of it. Sadhineni Kotaiah and Nunna Nageswar Rao, CPI (M) leaders demanded market intervention methods and provision of cold storage facility to help the growers. Over 4,000 vegetable farmers in the villages around Khammam town are being meted out a raw deal.