Home Bangladesh Vegetables price 10 times high than production cost
Bangladesh - June 1, 2023

Vegetables price 10 times high than production cost

Mahfuja Mukul: The cost of the farmer for the production of one kg of potal is Tk 7.5. It is sold in the local wholesale market at Tk 14-15. In the caravan market of Dhaka, the wholesale price fell by 35-40 taka depending on the quality. And a consumer has to pay up to 80 taka to buy that potal in the retail market. The price of the same vegetable increases 10 times within a few steps from the farmer.
This information is obtained by talking to farmers, wholesalers and analyzing the vegetable price report of the government’s Department of Agriculture Marketing.
This difference in the wholesale and retail market prices is not only for Patla, but for almost all vegetables. The official data says that various vegetables including brinjal, bitter gourd, rind, gourd, chichinga, kachurlati, tomato, cucumber are being sold at prices six to ten times higher than the cost of production. Out of this, prices are increasing almost four times due to violence of middlemen in wholesale and retail markets alone. Apart from this, there are various irregular expenses including unusual transportation expenses, road extortion, commission expenses from the production center to the sales center.
Despite all the odds, currently no vegetable is available in the Dhaka market below Tk 60 per kg. Common consumers are suffering the most. Farmers are not getting enough price. The middlemen are rightly benefiting.
How much does it cost to produce a vegetable?
The Department of Agriculture Marketing of the government through its field manpower and research wing had assessed the cost of production of 27 important agricultural commodities of the country. For each commodity, information on the cost of production of their commodity was collected from 69 separate farmers.
In that report, it is shown that the farmer’s cost of producing per kg of potal in the country is Tk 7.52. Production cost of brinjal is Tk 9.20, gourd Tk 11.47, gourd Tk 10.79, chichingar Tk 8.30, gourd Tk 5.33, tomato Tk 8.21 and cucumber Tk 8.4.
According to information from the Department of Agriculture Marketing, the report is two years old. That is, the cost of fertilizer and irrigation has increased slightly. Taking that into account, the current cost may increase by Tk 1/2 per kg. And in many cases, the yield of vegetables has also increased slightly, keeping that in mind, the price has not changed much.
The report mentions all the expenses incurred by the farmer during the production stage of the crop. For example, in the case of potal production, a farmer spends Tk 95,564 per acre. Out of this land preparation cost is Tk 3 thousand 206, fertilizer cost is Tk 10,578, seed cost is Tk 3,767, labor cost is Tk 37,444, irrigation cost is Tk 7056, pest management cost (pesticides and others) is Tk 8089.
Not only this cost, even if the land is leased or owned, there is a rent/cost of Tk 17 thousand per acre. If the same amount of money for farming is taken as loan, its interest is also taken as Tk 2,103. In addition, the total cost of other expenses has been estimated as Tk 6,322.
Meanwhile, the production of Patal per acre is estimated to be 12,711 kg. The price comes to Tk 7.52 per kg.
We talked to ten farmers from all over the country about the cost calculation of the Department of Agriculture Marketing. They called this account relevant. However, some of them said that the cost of pesticides, diesel, irrigation costs and fertilizers together increased the cost this season. Accordingly, the cost of production will increase by Tk 1/2 per kg.
How much does the farmer get?
Farmers who gave information in the report of agricultural marketing said that they are getting 14 taka 38 paisa per kg by selling potal. That is, almost twice the cost of production. Other vegetables have also shown double or near gains. This includes transport costs to their regional market and other expenses (fixed market rent and purchase and sale surcharge).
However, most of the farmers objected to the double profit reported in the report. Kamruzzaman, a farmer of Akkelpur Sadar, Joypurhat told, “In artadari, Tk two to three are spent per kg.” Then some vegetables are wasted. Dealers don’t take them. have to throw away About 10 percent is caught as waste.
He said, besides, double the price of the cost can be matched only if the supply is tight. But when market supply exceeds demand, production costs do not rise. Losses must be counted. This condition is more during the peak season. Even if there is a lot of vegetables in the market, many times I have to leave the market without being able to survive.
Farmer Shahidul Islam of Bhagbanpur area of Naogaon Sadar said that the amount of risk, investment and effort involved in vegetable production is not much. And as the price of seed pesticides is increasing, the profit share is decreasing day by day.
He said, many times vegetables are sold wholesale between Tk 3 to Tk 5 per kg. In the case of brinjal, potal, this happens every year during the peak season. Then even half of the cost of production is not incurred.
What is share of middlemen?
There are now middlemen at several levels, starting from where the farmers sell the vegetables (the village market) to the retail market. Some of the farmers said that they sell the products to the traders in the village market, who buy these products as the representatives of some dealers.
The representative traders of these Artaddars are the primary level middlemen in the rural areas. They buy vegetables from various farms in Gramganj for a commission of one to three rupees per kg. Then these products come to the village. From there, some more prices (the dealer’s profit) are added to the regional big market. For example, Bogra Mahasthan Hat is the biggest vegetable market in North Bengal.
If you want to know, the owner of Mahasthan Hat said. Farooq Mia told that before the product reached him, two hands went around. This almost doubles the price difference. This includes transportation and labor costs. A one-way commission (commission) is given. They then take the profits and send them wholesale to different cities across the country as needed. There is also a point to be made.
Then, in the case of the capital, most of the vegetables come to Karwan Bazar. There, the traders took the goods from the truck again. A few changes hands as needed. The price increases again. Because there are hundreds of wholesalers, wholesalers, stockists and exporters’ representatives out there to make a profit. In addition, some wholesalers buy vegetables for their needs from various types of vegetables. Sometimes the retailer buys directly from the dealer. And in every purchase and sale, the traders have to pay the price along with the profit in their pocket.
According to the Department of Agriculture Marketing, agricultural produce changes hands at least three times from the farmer to the consumer. In this process local traders, wholesale traders and retail traders at every level earn more than the farmers.
Unwritten costs
Some traders who brought vegetables to the capital said that the fare for transporting 14 tons of vegetables from Bogra’s Mahasthan market to Dhaka was Tk 20,000. Now the rent is 30-32 thousand taka respectively. Fares on each route have increased by an average of 25 percent in the last few months.
Apart from the transport cost, there is the toll cost of the market, labor and porter costs for packing. In addition, the subscription is on the way. To reach Dhaka from there, one has to pay about 2-3 thousand taka at various places including Bogra Bypass, Sherpur, Kaddar Mor, Elenga Bypass, Tangail Bypass, Karwan Bazar.
A businessman named Aktaruzzaman said that the price of vegetables increases due to the levy on the road. When you see a vegetable truck, you ask for a subscription. If not, you have to suffer. Faster transport is forced to pay a premium to avoid hassles.
A small amount of 25 rupees becomes 80 rupees in a day
From Joypurhat, a lot of wood goes all over the country. Lati is also exported there. On May 24, started talking about farmers in that area to the sellers of the retail vegetable market in Dhaka. It can be seen there that the price of that lathi has become 80 taka per kg in the retail market of Dhaka.
When asked to know that morning, Sabuj Mia, a lati farmer of Panchbb Bazar in Joypurhat, told that he sold lati at Tk 25 per kg in the morning. The transportation cost for sending Lati from here is Rs.2 per kg.
On the same day and night, the lathi was sold at the price of Tk 40 to Tk 43 in the tin shed market of Karwan Bazar. And the next day (May 25) in the morning in Rampura market, that loti was being sold for 80 taka.
When Enamul, a retailer there, was asked about the price, he said, “Everyone only sees profit.” But no one sees that every night unsold vegetables have to be sold at the price of water. No one takes account of the vegetables that rot in the shop.
He said, after buying the product, it has packing and transportation cost. 500 rupees per van from Karwan Bazar to Rampura. Then some goods are wasted. They have to be sold at low prices. Deficiency in dry weight. Then there are shop rents, labor bills, staff salaries. Due to high cost, forced to sell more.
Meanwhile, the Directorate of Agriculture Marketing prepared another report for the Ministry of Agriculture last year. It shows how the price of agricultural products increases from the farmer level to the consumer level. According to that report, among the traders, fariyas gain 6 to 7 percent, wholesalers gain 11 to 21 percent. Where the retail traders in the capital make a profit of 33 to 46 percent.
What the concerned say
There is no supervision or regulation in this country regarding how much profit a trader will make between buying and selling. That is why there is an unethical profit motive in all four classes of traders – from farmers to consumers. The stakeholders feel that it is necessary to plan to prevent this immorality through proper and effective policies.
President of Bangladesh Raw Material Owners Association for unusual price variation. Imran Master directly blames the retailers. Bringing up the issue of low price of loti, he said, how retailers buy loti at 40 taka and sell it at 80 taka. How do they cost so much? In fact the biggest syndicating retailers in the market right now. Market-based syndicates are making profits and businessmen are taking this responsibility. The government needs to look into this matter.
Director General (Additional Secretary) of Agriculture Marketing Department Masud Karim said that commodity-based syndicates have formed in every market. These need strict monitoring. The process of handover at so many stages between the farmer and the buyer also needs to be changed. And there are many unwritten syndicates from villages to cities that need to be broken.
Golam Rahman, President of Consumer Association of Bangladesh (CAB) commented that if the change of hands is less, the price of vegetables will be at a bearable level. He told that if farmers can sell vegetables in the retail market through association or any other means, they will also benefit and so will the consumer. That is, a direct link should be created from the production center to the sales center. For this reason, if vegetables are marketed directly from the production stage through cooperative societies, the violence of the middlemen will be reduced. In that case, the government has to play the biggest role. Proper and effective policies are required.

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