Farmers deprived of fair price of chilies in Kuakata

Published : 23 Mar 2021 08:18 PM

Farmers of different areas of Patuakhali’s Kuakata have got bumper yield of green chilies this year. However, there is a frustration among the farmers as they did not get the expected price for the chilies.

Farmers of the area got bumper yields and good prices for green chilies in the last few years. So, a good number of farmers were inclined to cultivate chilies in Kuakata. As a result, green chili farming increased constantly in the area.

However, the farmers expressed their frustration and said that they are suffering from lack of adequate irrigation water. As the canals have died and the ponds dried up they cannot water the chili saplings properly.

For the last 15 days, the farmers are taking the chilies in the market to sell them. Although, farmers were initially happy over getting a bumper yield now they are in a state of despair due to lower prices.

Visiting local Mahipur Bazaar recently, it was seen that farmers had brought chilies to the market and wholesalers coming from different parts of the country are buying the chilies. Some were sending the chilies directly to different warehouses of the country. 

The Bazaar (market) sits only one day a week and on this day, 5 to 10 trucks loaded with green chilies go to different parts of the country. Each truck is loaded with about 10 tonnes of chilies. 

Farmer Md. Abjal Bhadra (50) of Nayapara village of Latachapli union said, this year he has cultivated chilies on about 4 acres of land. So far, he has spent Tk 3 lakh on fertilizer, medicine and irrigation in the field. He hopes to earn at least Tk 5 lakh from the sale, if he gets a fair price.

Green chili production has created new hopes for local farmers as well as created job opportunities for women workers. A woman worker can earn Tk 400 in a day by plucking chilies from the field. 

Patuakhali’s Kalapara Upazila Agriculture Officer Abdul Mannan said green chilies have been planted on more than 500 hectares of land in the upazila this season. The average production per hectare is about 4 tonnes. 

Various canals have already been cut to solve the water problem of local farmers and plans have been taken to dig government Khas ponds in areas where there are no canals. Besides, authorities are looking for land to cut more Khas ponds in the area. So that water can be retained in dry season, he added.