Cauliflower price plummets in Bogura, farmers fear loss

Published : 08 Feb 2023 08:46 PM

Cauliflower is being sold at one and a half to two taka per kg. The traders said that the cost of production is kept away, the transport fare for bringing vegetables to the market is not increased. Not only Cauliflower but also cabbage has no price, it is being sold at the rate of 6 to 7 Tk. Farmers are frustrated by not getting the desired price in the season full of winter vegetables. However, while the price is lower in the wholesale market, the price in the retail market is more than double. On Sunday and Monday, in Bogura's Mahasthan Hut, Rajabazar, Fateh Ali Bazar in the city, this picture was seen.

It has been seen that the price of vegetables is increasing by changing hands. 5 to 10 taka per kg is being sold in the retail market and sometimes twice as much as compared to the wholesale market. While the supply of winter vegetables is normal at Bogura's Mahasthangarh, the largest wholesale market in northern region, buyers and sellers have mixed reactions over the prices. The farmers are worried about the cost of production as the prices of cauliflower and cabbage have come down completely. However, the vegetables of this market are being sold at a higher price in the capital, Dhaka, including the wholesale and retail markets of the city. However, the price of vegetables in the retail market increases due to the rent, labor and vehicle costs of the market, traders said.

According to the Directorate of Agricultural Extension, vegetables are cultivated throughout the year in Bogura district, which is known as a vegetable store. However, farmers produce more winter vegetables. Bogura district produces 450,000 tons of vegetables in the whole year, from October to mid-March, the target is 350,000 metric tons on 13,500 hectares of land. Farmers from different districts including Bogura and Mahasthangarh, the biggest market for selling these vegetables, come here to sell vegetables. The fresh vegetables picked from the land in the morning are being transported from Mahasthangarh market by trucks to different parts of the country including Bogura.

Potatoes are sold at Tk 13 to Tk 20 per kg at Mahasthangarh market on Sunday but at Bogura city market it is Tk 18 to Tk 30, Cauliflower is Tk 1.5 to Tk 2 per kg but at Rajabazar and Fateh Ali markets of the city it is Tk 10 to Tk 15 and somewhere at Tk 20 per kg. Cabbage is sold at 5 to 6 taka per piece, but after just 10 km, it is being sold at more than double the price. All kinds of vegetables are selling at 5 to 10 rupees more in Bogura market than Mahasthangarh market. In other parts of the country including Dhaka, these vegetables are sold at twice the price of the wholesale market. These vegetables are changing hands several times from Mahasthangarh wholesale market. From the farmer to the wholesale buyer, from the market dealer to the retailer to the general consumer, the price is increasing.

Lutfar Rahman of Medinipara of Shibganj, Chaiful Islam of Amzani, Abdul Hannan said that the price of cauliflower has been low for the past few days. Last week it was sold at 100 to 150 taka per mana, this week it is being sold at 50 to 70 taka per mound. Sometimes the wholesalers do not tell the price. Therefore, it has become difficult to cover the cost of production and the transportation cost of bringing vegetables. They said the price of cauliflower has come down completely. On the other hand, the price of potato is also very low, if the price increases, farmers will benefit, they said. Meanwhile, the picture is different in other markets including Rajabazar, Fateh Ali Bazar, which are only 10 kilometers away. These vegetables brought from Mahasthan market are being sold at 5 to 10 taka per kg and sometimes double the price. Common buyers have demanded market monitoring.

Wholesalers Mainul Ahsan, Ibrahim Hossain said that transportation cost, fare, labor cost to transport these vegetables from Mahasthangah to different parts of the country including the capital cost 5 to 6 taka per kg. They said wholesalers never increase the price of vegetables, they increase it at the retail level. Meanwhile, retail traders in different markets of the city said that they selected the vegetables brought from the Mahasthan market and sold them. They have shortages to pick good and fresh vegetables, besides transportation, rent, labor cost all increase the price.

Parimal Prasad Raj, general secretary of Bogura Rajabazar Artaddar Traders' Association, said there are various costs involved in selecting goods from the wholesale market to the retail market and reaching the consumer. However, wholesalers trade with very little profit. He said that if the price is increased unnecessarily at the retail and wholesale level, it will be monitored with the cooperation of the administration. Enamul Haque, Additional Deputy Director (Crops) of Agriculture Extension Department, Bogura, said that farmers grow vegetables every year in the hope of getting fair price. A record amount of land has been cultivated this time. Cauliflower is a winter vegetable, planted from October to December which is available till March. He said that 37,500 tons will be produced from 12,500 hectares of land in the district. Farmers spend 28 to 30 thousand per bigha and sell cabbage of 40 to 50 thousand Tk. Agriculture department is working through technical cooperation with various suggestions, said the agriculture officer.