May 11, 2021, 1:19 am
Anower Hossain Anu.Kalapara (Patuakhali): The dream of the farmers has been fulfilled by cultivating pepper in the coastal areas including the tourist city of Kuakata. There has been a bumper crop of peppers this season. Seeing raw ripe chillies all over the field, it seems from a distance that carpets wrapped in red and green carpets have been arranged. Many will break such mistakes when approached. The bumper crop of chillies across the field brought a smile to the farmer’s eyes. However, many farmers are complaining that they are not getting a fair price. The price of raw chilli is very low at the farmer level. For this, the peppers brought from the field are being dried and stored. Farmers said that the yield of chillies has improved as there is no rain in the coastal areas this season. Due to the tax epidemic, the price of raw chilli is much lower in the market.
Therefore, the farmers said that the produced chillies are being dried and stored. It is hoped that the stocked pepper will be sold at a fair price if the prevalence of corona decreases. It has been seen on the ground that various varieties of chillies including Bindu, Jira, Banshgara have been cultivated in Kalapara and Rangabali upazilas along the Kuakata coast this season. Peppers produced by the farmers are marketed in different areas of the district to meet the local demand. Pepper has been planted in various varieties across the farmer’s field. Pepper yield has also been as expected. Women, men and children are busy in the field to pick the produced pepper. 15-20 people in a group are busy picking chillies and the children from the village housewife are also busy. As the school is closed, mothers as well as children are helping in this work.
Women workers are more engaged in pepper making. According to the farmers, those who bring chillies from the field have to pay 1 / 6th. A lot of money is spent on irrigation, fertilizers, medicines and maintenance. The current price of pepper in the market has to be counted as a loss. That is why most of the farmers are stockpiling pepper in the hope of getting a fair price. Farmers will lose interest in pepper cultivation in the future if they do not get a fair price. Farmers are busy taking home the chillies produced before the rains subside.
Peppers procured from the field are being dried and stored in sacks. If the market is stable then these stocked peppers will be sold at the desired price. Due to the economic crisis, many are selling at the current market price. The losses of these farmers have to be counted. Farmers also informed. This time the yield of chilli has been better than last few years. Pepper cultivation has also doubled during the fee season.
Coastal farmers are cultivating chillies on the advice of the agriculture office. Due to good yields and desired prices in the past years, many farmers are inclined to cultivate chillies this time. Pepper cultivation has increased day by day. The farmers here are working day and night in the hope of getting their fortune back. Despite good yields, farmers in coastal areas are deprived of fair prices due to the Corona disaster. They said that if the price of chilli produced by the government like paddy and wheat is fixed, the farmers will benefit. According to the Agriculture Office, pepper has been planted in more than 500 hectares of land in the upazila including Kuakata municipality. An average of 4 tons of pepper has been produced per hectare. This year the target has been exceeded due to good production due to favorable weather.
Tayyab, a farmer from Nilganj Union, said he planted chillies on more land this time as he got better prices last year. Although the yield is good this year, the price is much lower. Tayyab also said that last year 1 ounce of dried chillies was sold for Tk 6,000. This time the same pepper is being sold for 5 thousand rupees. Latachapali Union Nayapara village farmer said. Abjal Bhadra (50) said that he has cultivated pepper in about 3 acres of land. At the beginning of the current season, one kg of green chillies was selling at 20-25 rupees. One man got 600 rupees by selling raw chillies.
With which it is not possible to meet the cost of production. That is why he did not sell raw chillies. They are stockpiling and drying in the field. Turning to the local market, it can be seen that the farmers have brought dried chillies. Since there is no wholesaler, they are going home selling pepper for less money. He said that they did this to alleviate the temporary financial hardship as no one had that much money in their hands. Farmers complain that wholesalers are buying pepper at low prices through syndicates. They are not giving a fair price to the farmers.
Kalapara Upazila Agriculture Officer Abdul Mannan said pepper has been planted in more than 500 hectares of land in the upazila this time. The average production per hectare is 4 tons. Farmers will lose interest if they do not pay a fair price to continue planting in the future. He also requested the concerned authorities to insist on market monitoring so that the farmers get a fair price.