India: Discontentment among Jajpur potato farmers
Jajpur: Even as the horticulture department has sanctioned Rs 1.33 lakh at the rate of Rs 10,000 per hectare for potato cultivation during Rabi season in Jajpur district for the financial year 2018-19, targeted farmers have alleged of not getting
Rasulpur, Sukinda, Dangadi, Binjharpur and Bari are the blocks in this district where farmers grow various types of vegetables including potatoes on the river bed.
In this district, potato is grown in 1,200 hectares of land. The farmers generally buy seeds from open market. Last Rabi season, the horticulture department had provided seeds.
At that time the farmers had expressed concern as the government rate was more than the market price.
If the information available from the State Horticulture Directorate is anything to go by, a total of Rs 380 lakhs was sanctioned for the potato growers in the state. The information reveals that 200 quintals of potato seeds covering 13.33 hectare of lands were supplied to the office of deputy director of agriculture here.
The information also reveals that at the rate of Rs 10, 000 a hectare, a total of Rs 1.33 lakh has been distributed in three phases such as normal, SCP and TASP.
The director, horticulture department has mentioned this in his letter (Letter No-2/5645/27-05-2019) which has been circulated to all the deputy directors and assistant directors. 7,633 quintals of potato seeds have been distributed for 508.916 hectares of land under 35 deputy director and assistant director offices in 21 districts. And for this Rs 50, 89, 170 have been sanctioned.
On the other hand, four months of Rabi season potato cultivation of 2018-19 has already gone by. And the farmers who would have been benefitted from the government assistance have denied of getting any assistance. Rather, they have asked where has gone the distributed departmental assistance money.
The fate of egg plant, cabbage, chili and tomato growers is no different. Most of the time they suffer from various difficulties, but the concerned officials hardly turn up at the time of need.
Various schemes and yojanas like National Food Security Mission, Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, Integrated Scheme of Oilseeds Pulses Oil Palm and Maize, e-pest Surveillance System, Krishi Sahayak Kendra Yojana, National Horticulture mission, National Mission on Medicinal Plants and some others are being implemented in the state. But the improper implementation of these schemes and yojanas has left the farmers of this district at the receiving end.
The elected members play a significant role in implementing the developmental schemes in their areas. But here the picture is quite different. They do not seem to have time for vegetable growers instead have devoted themselves to politics concerning contractors, some farmers alleged.
This is the reason the district is still not fortunate enough to get a cold storage though vegetables in huge quantity is grown here, they further alleged. Owing to no market facility, the farmers are not getting fair price for their produce. Most of the time, these farmers suffer loss by selling their produce at far less price to the businessmen of other states. There is no such mandi facility for farmers like the ones opened in West Bengal.
These are the reasons for which the farmers in this district are incurring losses and are not showing any interest to continue their profession.
A farmer usually sows potato seeds in the month of December. But they (farmers) are yet to get any assistance, said two farmers Rabindra Behera and Sushant Behera.
Where has the assistance money sanctioned in the financial year of 2018-19 gone, they further asked.
The Director, Horticulture Department, mentioned in his letter that the yojana must be implemented as per the State Government’s guidelines.