Sunday, July 26, 2015

Farm produce costs

Price of coconut fell from 30 rupees per kg (de-husked coconut with water) to 14 rupees per kg. According to government, this is a temporary situation created by dealers. It is also said palm oil import also has a role to play. Even though production of coconut is less during rainy season, price has reduced. I am not sure who controls this, at least government should be having a say in it?  Labor cost is increasing constantly, cowdung, chicken manure all these costs also increases year by year, still coconut produce cost decreases. The cost coconut will be same as that of 5 years ago, how can the coconut farmer cop up with this? 

Cost of cultivation per acre paddy is 20,000/-. Per acre gives a yield of 2000Kg and  current government market rate is 19/- per kg, which gives a total of 38000/- with a net profit of 18000/-. If a marginal farmer has 2 acres of land, this gives a 36,000/- per season and two such crops gives 72,000/- per year. This is 6000/- per month which is typically one third of the lowest paid (17,000/- is the recommended minimum per month) government employee. Typical coolie person earns 500/- rupees per day and this will be at 12,000/- per month. A marginal farmer earns half of this, so he will be forced to do other jobs.

Politicians are behind vote banks, all are operating out of fear. Government provides good health care and education etc.. But while coming to farm produce procuring, there is a problem !!! 

I feel farmer has to take care himself in the given conditions !!! Farmers has to be organised and sell their produce for a decent cost. Also dependency on a single crop has to be reduced. Basically he should grow his food first along with cash crops. Farmer should avoid dependency on fertilizer and seeds and should follow Fukuoka natural farming/organic/zero budget farming methods to increase yield and quality of food. By producing his own food, he can have better health. 


Shantanu said...

Hi Nandan,
Saddened by the situation. I've recently written a blog on price determination. The more the government intervenes, the messier it becomes. At a systemic level, there is no quick remedy, but over a period of time, prices will move towards equilibrium.

To me, this is a very fundamental problem, which most people in the alternate sphere either avoid or have no solutions to.

I'll elaborate my thoughts on this subject in my blog. Your comments will be valuable.

Nandakumar said...

Yes, Shantanu, if we can do anything about this, that will be great !!!. One solution is to form some co-operative movement and sell produce through it, other option is to completely self reliant...may be a via media solution will be better..

Will wait for your post about this.


Anonymous said...

I have read all your posts so far and I appreciate your frank discussions about all the failures you have had.I am from gujarat from farming background. I am not sure you heard about Bhaskar Save's Farm Called Kalpvruksh near Valsad Gujarat but you should read about it and Mr.Save.He is not alive now but his sons are still farming.In my opinion his farm is the longest running natural farm in India (and very successful too).The farm's website is


Nandakumar said...


Thanks. I have read about Bhaskar Save and read Vision of Natural farming and book written by Ashok Sanghvi. Didn't get a chance to visit his farm. I have one blog post on about his recommendation of mulching.


Shantanu said...

Sorry, I'm late responding Nandan. I did not realise you had replied to me. I don't receive a notification. I need to re-visit the same post to find out.

Anyway, I've penned my thoughts in another blog post.

A co-operative of only sellers may not help. This has been tried earlier. The co-operative must include both sides of the market and a size needs to be attained such that it is possible to disregard the existing markets, which we all agree has an unfair method of price determination.


Very nice article... keep sharing your writings.

Nandakumar said...

Shantanu - could not access the blog is it possible to disregard existing market?

Note that kind of farmer - thanks