Rajbiraj, October 25
Banana farmers in Saptari are at the receiving end of the protracted agitation in the Tarai as they have been unable to send their produce to the market.
Around 460 farmers in Bhardaha VDC have been cultivating banana in 2,000 bigaha of land along the Koshi River. But, as there are no vehicles to transport their produce, they have no option but to let it rot or sell it cheaply.
“In previous years, a farmer earned up to Rs 500,000 from banana sale during the festive season but this year we have been suffering huge losses due to the ongoing agitation,” lamented Dinesh Kumar Mandal, a local banana farmer.
Another farmer Panchi Mandal also shared the same plight and demanded that the government address the agitators’ concerns at the earliest. “The continued agitation has made us suffer huge losses,” he said.
Banana Plantation Association Saptari chairperson Bachchalal Mandal estimated the total loss to farmers at more than Rs 50 million. He urged the government to take initiatives to end the ongoing agitation.
Besides Bhardaha, banana is cultivated in around a dozen other VDCs, including Hanumannagar, Portaha and Barmajhiya.
A version of this article appears in print on October 26, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.