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Jute farmers of South Kamrup facing acute crisis

By Correspondent

MIRZA, Oct 17 � Finding the going uphill in their bid to sell their produce for good economic returns, raw jute farmers from different parts of South Kamrup area are facing acute crisis. Too poor to afford the input costs, the marginal farmers who practice the cultivation on a massive scale in thousands of bighas of land here at Jiakur 1 Bortari, Kandalpara Cimina, Futuri Goroimari Alikash under Palashbari and Chhaygaon LAC have attributed the market crisis to the traders as well the intermediaries who exploit their helplessness to increase their profit margin. �We cannot stock the fibres and have to sell them even at low price,� said Ramesh Kalita and Debeshawar Kalita who practice jute cultivation here at Jarabari Pathar.

Rising input costs in rating, harvesting and in the management of the cultivated plot is a dent to their battered economic state and they somehow manage the required amount for tilling. Biresh Kalita who sold four mons of fibre for Rs 2800 has suffered loss in comparison to input cost. This year the selling price has come down to Rs 600 from Rs 1700 last year. Leading a hard life by tilling various crops including paddy, the marginal farmers are dependent on a market which has been lacking for decades.

The Government of India fixes the MSP (Minimum Support Price) on the basis of the grade of the harvested produce. While for the grade 1, the price stands at Rs 2055 per quintal , for the lowest grade 8 the rate is fixed at Rs 1370. Here it is worthwhile to note that grade 4, 5, 6,7and 8 of jute are produced in lower Assam. The Departmental Purchasing Centre of Uparhali purchased 5323 quintals in the year 2007- 08 but in 2008-09 the centre procured only 150 quintals. The jute growers have alleged that the purchasing centre prefers to take the produce from the middlemen than the farmers themselves. But officials of the purchasing centre denied the allegations saying they can only purchase the raw material at the Minimum Support Price.

The toil involved in jute farming goes down the drain if the rating which is crucial for the quality of the production collapses. �If the water level of the jute sticks under rating goes up and down, the quality of the fibre suffers,� Nripen Kalita, a jute farmer who is also a paddy cultivator stated adding that stripping which is done in water cost them up to Rs 300 in a day as wages. However, the stacks of stripped jute sticks come in handy for the farmers as besides using them in erecting the fencing, they also sell them. 100 stripped sticks bring them Rs 200 which is a relief to the needy farmers.

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Jute farmers of South Kamrup facing acute crisis

MIRZA, Oct 17 � Finding the going uphill in their bid to sell their produce for good economic returns, raw jute farmers from different parts of South Kamrup area are facing acute crisis. Too poor to afford the input costs, the marginal farmers who practice the cultivation on a massive scale in thousands of bighas of land here at Jiakur 1 Bortari, Kandalpara Cimina, Futuri Goroimari Alikash under Palashbari and Chhaygaon LAC have attributed the market crisis to the traders as well the intermediaries who exploit their helplessness to increase their profit margin. �We cannot stock the fibres and have to sell them even at low price,� said Ramesh Kalita and Debeshawar Kalita who practice jute cultivation here at Jarabari Pathar.

Rising input costs in rating, harvesting and in the management of the cultivated plot is a dent to their battered economic state and they somehow manage the required amount for tilling. Biresh Kalita who sold four mons of fibre for Rs 2800 has suffered loss in comparison to input cost. This year the selling price has come down to Rs 600 from Rs 1700 last year. Leading a hard life by tilling various crops including paddy, the marginal farmers are dependent on a market which has been lacking for decades.

The Government of India fixes the MSP (Minimum Support Price) on the basis of the grade of the harvested produce. While for the grade 1, the price stands at Rs 2055 per quintal , for the lowest grade 8 the rate is fixed at Rs 1370. Here it is worthwhile to note that grade 4, 5, 6,7and 8 of jute are produced in lower Assam. The Departmental Purchasing Centre of Uparhali purchased 5323 quintals in the year 2007- 08 but in 2008-09 the centre procured only 150 quintals. The jute growers have alleged that the purchasing centre prefers to take the produce from the middlemen than the farmers themselves. But officials of the purchasing centre denied the allegations saying they can only purchase the raw material at the Minimum Support Price.

The toil involved in jute farming goes down the drain if the rating which is crucial for the quality of the production collapses. �If the water level of the jute sticks under rating goes up and down, the quality of the fibre suffers,� Nripen Kalita, a jute farmer who is also a paddy cultivator stated adding that stripping which is done in water cost them up to Rs 300 in a day as wages. However, the stacks of stripped jute sticks come in handy for the farmers as besides using them in erecting the fencing, they also sell them. 100 stripped sticks bring them Rs 200 which is a relief to the needy farmers.