Declining cardamom price dejects farmers
TAPLEJUNG, DECEMBER 24
Cardamom farmers come across a worrying situation owing to the unanticipated market price of cardamom – the main source of income of the mountainous region.
The cardamom price has witnessed unexpected variations for the past few years.
It was quite tough for farmers to sell their cardamom last year. However, they were hopeful of good price this year with the new production. Their optimism was shattered when the market price of cardamom went down even more than that of last year.
Four years ago, 40 kg cardamom used to be sold at over Rs 100,000 which was a matter of excitement for farmers from the mountainous region. With this, the farmers increased their loan investment in cardamom farming but the situation turned worse with the gradual decline in price.
“I took loan to increase investment in cardamom farming after its price exceeded Rs 100,000. In addition I decided to switch over from paddy to cardamom farming. But the investment did not give returns. Unfortunately we came to a situation in which we had to buy grains for daily life sustenance”, said Raj Kumar Bhattarai, a cardamom farmer of Khewang in Sirijunga Rural Municipality.
The farmers however have continued farming cardamom with the hope that the price would be adjusted. But there is no situation of reform in marketization and pricing of cardamom products.
Cardamom entrepreneurs said that the pricing would not see improvement until the product was directly exported to third countries and not only to India.
Cardamom is being traded at Rs 25,500 per 40 KG.
The price stood in the range of Rs 26,000 to Rs 27,000 last year. It was a sharp decline in the price in comparison to the price four years ago.
Dejected cardamom farmers said that the government should take further initiatives to bring uniformity in its price and improve marketing of cardamom products.
Feature image: File