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Tuesday, May 17, 2016, Jaistha 3, 1423 BS, Shaban 9, 1437 Hijri

Farmers frustrated over sharp fall in maize price
Our Correspondent
Published :Tuesday, 17 May, 2016,  Time : 12:00 AM  View Count : 46
KUSHTIA, May 16: Growers in six upazilas here have achieved bumper production of maize this year due to favourable weather and timely supply of necessary agro-inputs. But they are frustrated over its drastic fall of price in the market.
Maize cultivation had been gaining popularity in recent years due to its low production cost compared to other crops, favourable weather, easy cultivation process, and fair price in the markets, sources said.
But this year, the farmers saw unusual fall in price of maize. Per maund of maize is selling at Tk 250 to 300 in local markets, but it was sold at Tk 550 to 600 at the same time last year.
According to the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), a total of 26,755 hectares of land were brought under maize cultivation in the district this season.
While talking with the farmers at different villages, this correspondent found that they are frustrated over the current price of maize in the local markets.
The farmers informed that they have been compelled to sell maize at low price since they had to repay the bank loans they took before the cultivation period.
Farmer Kazal Mia of Kamlapur under Khoksa upazila in the district said that he took some 50 maunds of maize for selling at the local market but could not sell it as the buyers offered only Tk 300 to 330 against per maund.
He also said, "I cultivated maize on two acres of land spending Tk 50,000 after taking loan from local Krishi Bank."
"I am drying up 520 maunds of maize and will store the crop instead of selling it due to low rate. I will sell these after two or three months when the price will be normal," said another farmer Abul Hossain of the same village.
Farmer Monirul Islam of Jotmora village under Kumarkali upazila said, "Low price of maize worried us this year as we could not recoup the production cost after selling it. Besides, most of the farmers had to sell their produce at low price since there is no proper storing facility."
Maize trader Moiz Uddin in Kushtia town said, "The price of maize in the wholesale market have fallen due to bumper production and increased supply in the market."
He hoped that the price of maize would increase after three or four months.
When contacted, local DAE Officer Kinkon Chakraboti said bumper production of the crop is the reason behind the fall in price of the produce this year.
But, many farmers alleged that due to lack of proper marketing policy, the middlemen or wholesalers are making extra profits depriving them of the fair price.
They urged the government to take proper steps in this connection.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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