Home Bangladesh Extortion at ghats behind increase of vegetables price
Bangladesh - January 2, 2024

Extortion at ghats behind increase of vegetables price

Syed Nasir Hossain: Buyers expect vegetables to be available at lower prices in the winter season. There is more interest in buying favorite vegetables than fish and meat at this time. But this time with such a hope “Gure Bali”. Vegetables are difficult to get hold of even in full season. Especially tomatoes, eggplant, beans, cauliflower, cabbage prices are very high. Compared to last year, the prices of some have increased almost four times.
Traders say that farmers are selling at higher prices than before due to increase in production cost. Moreover, the production is less than the demand. Transportation cost is also high. Extortion by government party people and police on the roads and markets is most responsible for the increase in prices. This process should stop. However, the government officials are blaming middlemen.
Yesterday in Dhaka’s Shantinagar, Hatirpool and Karwan markets, it was seen that bean Tk 80 to Tk 100 per kg, ripe tomato Tk 80 to Tk 100, brinjal Tk 70 to Tk 80, radish Tk35 to Tk40 and cauliflower and cabbage Tk40 to Tk50 per kg. But the production cost of these vegetables is Tk7 to Tk10. Even if we add other costs and profit to this, at the consumer level, a kg of vegetables should not be more than Tk30 at retail. Even a couple of years ago, the price of vegetables was within the reach of the buyer.
Directorate of Agriculture Marketing publishes the report on the daily market price of agricultural products. According to the information of the organization, at this time last year beans were sold for Tk 20 to Tk 50, tomato Tk 40 to Tk 45 and brinjal Tk 25 to Tk 40. Apart from this, each cauliflower was sold at Tk 20 to Tk 25 and cabbage at Tk 25 to Tk 35 each. According to this, the price of beans has increased four times in one year. In the case of brinjal, it has increased two to two and a half times.
Production cost Tk10 maximum
According to the information of the Directorate of Agriculture Marketing, the production cost of beans per kg is Tk6.88, tomato Tk9.69, brinjal Tk10.26 and the production cost of each cauliflower and cabbage is approx.
Tk 10,in the case of beans, the cost of production is Tk 7 along with transport, tolls at various places on the road, and the cost of harvesting is Tk 5 to Tk6 per kg. If the maximum cost of Tk6 is added, the basic cost per kg stands at Tk13.
According to the ‘Agricultural Marketing Rules, 2021’, all types of vegetables can earn 40 percent at producer level, 25 percent at wholesale and 30 percent at retail. Adding the profit at this rate to the price at the three tiers, the maximum price of beans at the retail level would be Tk29.57 per kg. But traders ranging from manufacturers to retailers are raising prices.
What was price last year
Our Correspondent spoke to 10 to 12 wholesale and retail vegetable traders to find out how the price of vegetables was in Dhaka this time last year. They said that not only the buyers but also the sellers were surprised by such fire prices in the vegetable market during the full season. According to them, at this time of other years, a kg of beans was bought at wholesale for Tk15 to Tk16. It could be sold for Tk20 to Tk25 adding cost and profit. But now it costs more than Tk25 to buy wholesale. Tomatoes could be bought wholesale at Tk 15 to Tk 20 per kg. It was sold at retail for Tk25 to Tk30. Radishes could be bought wholesale for Tk 6 to Tk 7 and retailed for Tk 15 to Tk 20. But now it costs more than Tk25 to buy wholesale.
Dulal Hossain, a retail vegetable seller of Karwan Bazar, said, “I have never sold beans for Tk 80-90 per kg in the winter season. Last year at this time it was Tk 25 to Tk30 per kg. Not that there is a shortage of beans. I feel bad to tell the price of mineshare.
How price goes up
Traders from different parts of the country bring vegetables in trucks to Karwan Bazar, Jatrabari and Mirpur areas. They are usually sold as coins. After bringing the vegetables at night, they started searching the entire market to see how many trucks had arrived and what quantity had arrived. Whenever they see that the quantity has come in a little less and the crowd of wholesalers and retailers is increasing, they start raising the prices. It is also seen that in the beginning it was sold at the rate of Tk 20 per kg, but at the end it increased to Tk 25. The opposite also happens. Sometimes it is seen that even if the price is sold at a high price in the beginning, the sellers reduce the price due to shortage of buyers. Due to this, different prices are seen even among the same vegetable retailers.
Extortion is the reason
In addition to the increase in wholesale prices, the subscription amount has also increased at various stages. This is also contributing to the rise in prices. Ismail Hossain, a retail vegetable seller in Hatirpool, told that if he does business on the footpath, he has to spend at least Tk 500 per day without the rent of the shop. Of this, the police have to pay Tk200. The rest is spent on ward commissioners, ruling party local leaders and garbage bills.
Mohiuddin Sarkar sells vegetables on the pavement of Karwan Bazar. He told that apart from the rent of Tk5 thousand per month, the police have to pay a contribution of Tk100 per day. Local subscription is Tk100, a light rental is Tk60. Apart from this, Tk50 is being taken in the name of city corporation since last week. Other expenses are like Tk50. In total, one shop has to pay Tk15,800 per month. That is, there is a daily cost of Tk527. Along with this, you have to calculate your own expenses, wages and profits. All these things have to be collected from the sale of vegetables.
Imran Master, President of Bangladesh Commodity Dealers Association, said that now the price is high. The demand is increasing day by day. Production is not increasing at that rate. Apart from that, due to the development of roads, many farmers are now directly bringing vegetables from different districts to Dhaka and selling them. Selling at higher prices in production areas. Farmers are getting good profit from it. If they get more profit, production will increase.
He said that every kg of beans costs about Tk5 in addition to transport, various fees and other expenses. Traders have to pay a commission of one rupee per kg while selling wholesale. Even if these calculations are made, the retail price is higher. The production data of the Ministry of Agriculture is not correct. This artdar said that the cost of production including fertilizers, seeds, pesticides has increased a lot.
What Directorate of Agriculture Marketing says
Pranab Kumar Saha, assistant director of the market linkage department of the Agriculture Marketing Department, said that the production cost information that is being used now is from last year. This year’s data is not yet available. The field level officials of the agriculture department will determine the cost of production by meeting the farmer in the yard. It may be slightly different than last year. There won’t be much difference. He said, because of the middlemen, the prices increase more. A new app is being developed to control it. Through this, the production of agricultural products, what the price may be at what stage, how much the production has been – this information will be there.

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