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India: Farmers not seeing the benefit of growing organicallyBangaloreans have been actively participating in the organic bazaar, an event aiming to raise awareness and promotion of organic produce.
However, it has been noted that, despite apparent demand for organic produce, farmers are not raping the rewards of the higher sales price.
Narasihma Reddy, a farmer from Gauribidanur , who went into organic production two decades ago, says that the government has not made enough efforts to build a marketing platform for organic produce.
“Though we do not spend on pesticides unlike in conventional farming which increases the cost, we spend a lot on transporting the goods which almost doubles our input cost per unit, thereby increasing the sale price,” Reddy said.
Reddy travels three times each week to Bangalore to deliver his produce to retailers and individual customers as he does not find enough of a market locally for the produce.
Lakshminarayan S, a software professional who is into sustainable agriculture and rural development projects said middlemen in the supply chain create artificial demand and try to sell the products at higher price.
“There needs to be a proper pricing mechanism and it needs to be controlled and regulated. Though the input cost should be lesser for organic produce, in the retail market, sometimes the prices are double and triple,” said Lakshminarayan.
The Additional Director and President of Jaivika Krishi Society Dr K Ramakrishnappa said the government can only facilitate, but cannot market the products. There has to be a cooperation or intervention from private parties, he observed.
“Only 43 per cent of the market price reaches the farmer. There are no organised channels here or market linkages like the Horticultural Producers Co-operative Marketing and Processing Society,” Ramakrishnappa said.
Publication date: 2/14/2012
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