Kerala

Horticorp begins veggies procurement for Onam

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Kanthallur farmers allege delay in payments, low prices

Horticorp has started bulk procurement of cool season vegetables grown at Vattavada and Kanthallur for the Onam festival season. On the first day of procurement on Wednesday, it collected 90 tonnes of vegetables.

However, farmers at Kanthallur are up in arms against the delay in payments for earlier procurements and the low prices fixed for vegetables.

P.T. Mohandas, president of the Kanthallur Cool-Season Vegetable Producers Marketing Society which procures vegetables from the farmers, said private traders were giving the farmers a higher price and only 250 kg of garlic was procured by Horticorp from Kanthallur.

There are allegations that vegetables grown on estates are reaching the Vegetable and Fruit Promotion Council Keralam’s (VFPCK) market at Kanthallur to be procured by Horticorp.

Horticorp’s procurement prices for vegetables fluctuated throughout the day, which was a concern for the farmers. Following their protest on Wednesday, Horticorp decided to fix prices for vegetables for the day from Thursday. The prices fixed today for a kg of carrot was Rs.27.50, cabbage Rs.15.40, potato Rs.26.40, beans Rs.31, and garlic Rs.135.

A Horticorp official on Thursday said procurement for Onam would continue till September 11. He said the prices were fixed covering weight loss, transportation cost, damage due to decay, and other factors. He said there was no basis for the allegations that the prices fixed by private traders were higher than those fixed by Horticorp. “It is Horticorp’s intervention that ensured fair prices for the farmers, saving them from exploitation by middlemen,” he said.

Large-scale arrival

Large-scale arrival of vegetables was reported on Thursday from Vattavada, the main market. Jayaprakash, president of the Vattavada Cool-Season Vegetable Producers Marketing Society, said Horticorp had paid all dues. Farmers received better prices this season, both from businessmen and Horticorp.

The societies at Vattavada and Kanthallur are the main agencies through which vegetables are procured from the farmers.

The official said Horticop had deposited Rs.45 lakh and Rs.35 lakh in the account of the Vattavada and Kanthallur society respectively in view of the Onam holidays. This included advances for future procurement, he added.

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Printable version | Dec 16, 2019 6:43:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/Horticorp-begins-veggies-procurement-for-Onam/article14630631.ece

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