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Low Capsicum Prices Persist: Mansa Farmers Resort to Roadside Yield Dumping

Agitated capsicum farmers are constantly dumping their yields on roads to mark their protest due to the price crash and lack of demand.

Shivangi Rai
Capsicum being dumped on Mansa roads on Monday.
Capsicum being dumped on Mansa roads on Monday.

Capsicum growers are feeling the pinch as the glut of capsicum in the state has forced a decrease in the prices. Farmers have been protesting over this issue in the capsicum-growing districts almost on a daily basis since April 19.

While capsicum is sold in the retail market at Rs 20-25 a kg, farmers of Mansa and Sangrur continue to get only Re 1 or Rs 2 a kg.

Gora Singh Bhainibagha from Bhainibagha village of Mansa said, “We have no choice but to dump the yield on roads as a mark of protest. We have all the more reason to protest as the state government is silent on this matter,” He is also a state committee member of the Punjab Kisan Union.

Any farmer taking up capsicum farming following Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann’s request to do so, but now in this crisis, the state is said to be looking the other way.

Every day farmers are dumping some of their yield on Mansa main road which is later eaten by stray cattle or goes to waste. There were reports of farmers in the Mansa region throwing capsicum on the highways a few days ago after they were offered Re 1 per kg for their harvest.

Gora Singh added, “The horticulture department hasn’t approached the farmers till now as we bear the strain of crop diversification.” Farmers say that they have cold storage in the area which is used for keeping potatoes but not for capsicum.

Farmers also revealed that as the crop from Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh got delayed and is still coming, the Punjab market has hardly any takers.

Amarjeet Singh, a farmer said that in the initial two weeks of April, farmers did get some good prices ranging from Rs 15-20 a kg, but after that, the prices crashed.

Information also revealed that some farmers on their own have been taking trolleys to cities to sell their yield in markets where they fetch around Rs 10-15 a kg, but such farmers are very few in number.

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