I had gone to pick up mangoes from the bus stand with a friend whose father grows them at his farm in Andhra. He loads the delicious organic Himayati Mangoes in the village on a bus and we go to Majestic bus stand and pick them up. Pretty cool ! On our way we were chatting and I said even I have been thinking of growing some veggies and selling it to Healthy Buddha or Big Basket but it works out that no matter how I try I just can’t make money as size of my land holding is too small. My friend said Rajnish why do you think the farmers are revolting ? This year there has been an over supply of many crops including mango. Typically, farmers have been selling mangoes to agents as low as 10-15 Rs. Per Kg. In an acre on an average you can grow about a quintal in the 5th year.So if you have 2 acres of land the maximum money that you can make is Rs. 20 thousand for a crop which grows only once a year. 2 acres is important as that is the average land holding of farmers in India. You can do maths with other crops with different prices which vary drastically but there is no way a farmer can cross the threshold of 30 thousand per acre per year. Now you look at the cost of inputs which are easily 30-40 % fertilizers, pesticides, water, transportation, labor etc. The net available for the farmer is just 3 thousand per month. Remember this is when everything is normal – no draught or floods or untimely rain.
So who has failed – the government. In 70 years we have not been able to come up with a market mechanism to get a fair price for the produce. While the farmer gets Rs.2 per Kg we pay Rs. 20 for the same tomatoes. In the case of my friend the entire apartment is happy buying Organic Himayati Mangoes at Rs. 150 per Kg which his father would have otherwise sold to the agent at Rs. 15. Why do you think we went all the way to Majestic bus Stand in the morning 😊