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Banana farmers bankrupt in Anantapuramu

Banana farmers bankrupt in Anantapuramu
Highlights

Unseasonal rains, market trends blamed for loss Prices and exports to other States crash A Officials...

  • Unseasonal rains, market trends blamed for loss
  • Prices and exports to other States crash A
  • Officials submit report for crop compensation
Y Santhosh Reddy bananaAnantapuramu: Unseasonal rains and unexpected market trends left the farmers, especially banana cultivators of Anantapuramu district, destitute and bankrupt. Crores of rupees invested in banana cultivation went waste as the crop soaked in water. Vexed by losses in dry crops, the district farmers tried their hands at gardening crops that also gave nothing but loss. Groundnut has been the principal crop in Anantapuramu district for many years. But three years continuous drought left the farmers broke and in deep debts. Then the farmers turned their attention to garden crops and started cultivation with the help of drip and sprinklers. The farmers cultivated banana in about 20,000 hectares in the district during 2013. They invested Rs 40,000 to Rs 50,000 per acre. The farmers took all measures to protect the crop, which will come into their hands within one month. They dreamt of high market rates like that of last year but all their dreams were shattered with the untimely rains. Banana trees fell to the ground due to wind gales and hailstorm. Crops in thousands of acres were lost. Banana rates in Anantapuramu, Dharmavaram, Kadiri, Tadipatri, Hindupur, Guntakal markets fell drastically due to heavy imports of crop. Rs 15,000 per tonne price in last month fell to Rs 3,000. On the other hand, traders unwilling to purchase the yield due to sudden fall of market prices also added to the farmers' woes. Left without any choice, farmers are selling bananas at whatever price stated by the traders. Farmers lamented they are not even getting transport expenditure and were cursing the unseasonal rains. Meanwhile, officials and traders observed that market prices fell due to increase in banana production in northern States during this year. Normally traders of other States used to come to Andhra Pradesh during banana season, but this year nobody came as markets in Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and other States are flooded with banana yield, they said. Officials estimated that farmers incurred a loss of Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 2 lakh per acre. Assistant Director of Horticulture Satyanarayana said they have submitted reports to the government for crop compensation.
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