Burdwan, July 10: Farmers of Jamalpur who had dumped their produce on the road yesterday unable sell the vegetables because of absence of wholesalers heaved a sigh of relief today as about 20 of the bulk buyers turned up.
A farmer from Jamalpur, Ukil Soren, who was among the agitators yesterday, sold 15 kg of ribbed gourd today to a wholesaler from Tarakeswar.
“I sold my jhinge at Rs 8 a kg and I am happy. I had become very tense as the wholesalers had not come to the market for two days. But I am relieved at finding so many of them here,” Ukil said.
Farmers in the villages around Jamalpur grow ribbed gourd (jhinge), lady’s finger (bhindi) and wax gourd (potol) and every day around 1,000 such farmers bring their produce to the market near Sure Kalna station from where the wholesalers pick up their produce.
A wholesaler from Tarakeswar, Santanu Kaibartya, said he had not come to the market point at Sure Kalna for two days because he had not been able to sell the stock vegetables he had purchased from the farmers on Saturday.
“I buy the vegetables from the farmers at Rs 6-8 a kg. I sell them to the aratdars (middlemen) at a profit of Rs 3-4. The aratdars had been urging us to reduce our profit margin as the prices of vegetables came down in the retail market. On Saturday, they refused to buy the vegetables at the price I claimed. So, on Sunday, I had to sell my produce at a lower price,” Kaibartya said.
Today the aratdars, Kaibartya said, had called him up saying the demand in the market had increased because of the shortage in supply that had been created because of the price debate in the last two days.
“He asked me to supply them vegetables saying they would consider giving me a reasonable price,” said Kaibartya.
Kaibartya said he had purchased 40 kg of vegetables today. “I will come again tomorrow as aratdars have assured me they would buy from me a reasonable quantity at a good price in the coming days,” he added.
Ohed Ali Mondal, 48, a resident of Selimabad village, demanded the government take an initiative to buy vegetables from farmers through regulated markets like paddy.
On a normal day, around 40 wholesalers turn up at the Sure Kalna market.