November 9th, 2011
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Wayanad weighs down under declining ginger prices

gingerKalpetta: The heavy decline in ginger prices are testing the farmers endurance level and driving them to the edge of despair where they loose all hope and the zest to life. With another farmer ending his life the death toll rises to three within a week in the high altitude district – Wayanad where ginger cultivation had substantially increased in recent times and is marketed in the form of green ginger.

Varghese, 48 of Thrikkaippata who had debts of around 3.5 lakhs in various banks committed suicide after consuming poison following heavy loss in ginger and banana farming.Earlier two farmers CP Sasidharan of Vellamunda and Illavukunnu Ashokan of Seethamount near Pulpally had committed suicide. Both Sasidharan and Ashokan had debts amounting to 2 lakh rupees under various banks.

According to agriculture officers, ginger prices plunged to 550 rupees per sack from a higher prise of 1300 per sack around three months ago. “Eying the heavy profit from ginger cultivation in Kudaku in Karnataka after taking land for heavy lease amount,” an agriclutural officer said.

” Due to large scale investment in the field, production multiplied, resulting in a decrease in market prices,” he added. The interesting fact is that all these farmers where doing ginger cultivation in Kudaku and had not approached the agricultural department for loans or assistance. Wayanad district collector has called for an emergency meeting of elected representatives, agricultural officers, officials of banking institutions and representatives of farmers associations to evaluate the situation. Hopefully this will be the last of the suicides and the officials will open their eyes to the plight of farmers in a country where the primary occupation of rural India is farming. The farming population is dwindling as a result of the growing loss in the field.



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