Burdwan farmer commits suicide despite bumper potato yield

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Hoogly, Apr 1 : A farmer from Burdwan district in West Bengal has reportedly committed suicide due to huge loss incurred by him despite bumper yield of potato crop.

A bumper yield of potato crop across Bengal, fails to lift farmers from being steeped in poverty, as they are not able to reap benefits from their yield due to excess crop production.

Agriculture experts say that the land under potato cultivation is 90,000 hectares in Hooghly alone with a yield of 22 lakh metric tonnes, which is six lakh metric tonnes short of the previous record production of 28 lakh metric tonnes.

But this year, all other districts in the state including South and North Dinajpur, Burdwan, Coochbehar and Jalpaiguri had a massive crop resulting in excess supply.

As a result, farmers are not getting a proper price for their yield and the situation has led to a crisis, as potato growers have failed to get back their initial investment.

"This year however, there had been 16.5 lakhs metric tonnes stored crop, to meet consumption needs and yet the farmers have not received the desired returns as buyers are fewer," said Alik Kumar Mondal, an agricultural scientist.

Farmers claim that the government has not provided much help and feel that if the situation is not remedied, it might lead to more suicide cases.

"If the government thinks about us and does something, we will be grateful because if we are unable to sell the total produce then all of us will incur huge loss, resulting in mass suicides," said Shyamal Pakhija, a farmer from Gopalnagar.

However, after the suicide, the State Government has announced that it will buy potato from farmers at the rate of Rs. 2.5 per kg.


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