By Brajesh Singh
Hathras (UP), Apr 9 : Farmers at Hathras in Uttar Pradesh are complaining that there has been a sharp decline in their profits over the past two years due to a fall in the market price of roses.
Farmers say that prices have plummeted dramatically and roses which fetched Rs 6,000 for every 40 kg now cost just Rs 1500 for the same quantity.
"Earlier, rose cultivation was very lucrative. We use to reap huge profits. But over the past two years, there has been a sharp decline in profits. We have worked hard for the past two years and now all of a sudden it is not possible for us to remove these plants from the fields," said Shyambeer Singh, a farmer.
The price of roses was fixed at Rs 2,050 for every 40kg at a meeting of farmers and the traders.
However, middlemen are robbing the farmers of remunerative prices. They refused to buy the roses at the prices agreed upon.
"If the Government fixes the rate, it would be very nice for us. The farmers would not have to bear any loss. Every farmer would be assured of a minimum rate," said Chandrapal Singh, a village head.
Farmers want to maintain direct contact with traders, but are unable to do so because their produce is purchased by middlemen. This also prevents farmers from selling roses at the remunerative prices.
The global cut flower industry is dominated by Holland, accounting for nearly 50 per cent of the market share. But India, with its comparatively cheaper priced flowers, is slowly asserting its presence.
Indian roses cost anything from rupees eight per rose to rupees 40. The longer the stem of the rose, the costlier it gets. A 40 cm rose is priced at less than rupees ten while one-metre roses fetch up to rupees 40 apiece.