Famished farmers try to sell livestock, find few takers

Popular cattle market in Khed has buyers offering around half the price; farmers banking on sale to buy seeds, fertilisers

Pune: The Khed-based Krushi Utpadan Bazaar Samiti’s market is a disturbing site. Worried farmers, who have not been able to provide for their cattle in the drought, have brought them here to sell them off. But farmers are getting a lukewarm response as buyers from neighbouring states are offering much lesser prices for the cattle.

Farmers have come to sell their cattle at the Krushi Utpadan Bazaar Samiti’s market at Khed
Farmers have come to sell their cattle at the Krushi Utpadan Bazaar Samiti’s market at Khed

The Krushi Utpadan Bazaar Samiti market is around 170 kilometres from Pune. Farmers from neighbouring villages like Maval, Haveli, Shirur, Ambegaon etc have come here to sell their cattle.

As per the statistics from Krushi Utpadan Bazaar Samiti, a market for around 150 jersey cows, 480 bulls, 150 buffaloes and around 8,210 sheep was organised in the annual village fair, which is considered one of the famous markets for farmers.

Babanrao Jadhav, a farmer from Shirur said, “The summer heat is unbearable and our family cannot even have two meals a day, and there is barely any grass or fodder for the animals. We have to manage in whatever little water there is for our house, farm, and for cattle. So we have to sacrifice our cattle, as we can utilise the money for purchasing seeds and fertilizers for the farm.”

Another farmer, Ashok Gotarne from Haveli said, “I had purchased two bulls for over R1 lakh three years ago, assuming that I could make them run and earn some income, but now the situation has changed. The government has banned cattle races.”

Gotarne added, “Such animals need ample fodder, grass and water in summer season. I had no other option but to sell one of my bulls for around R23,500. I will have to manually plough the field.”

A farmer from Beed said they themselves don’t have water, so how can they find it for animals. Udhav Aadhav, the farmer said, “We do not have water for ourselves how will I afford it for my cow? Due to summer, the cow needs lots of water and also gives less milk due to the heat. We are waiting for this government to show us achche din. I am struggling to sell my cow. Once I get a good amount, I will return to my village. From the Pune market I will also purchase books for my children and payments for the monthly groceries purchase will be made to shopkeepers.”

Another farmer from Shirur said they usually sell their cattle soon. Appashaheb Pansare, the farmer said, “Usually within a day our cattle used to be sold. But now it’s more than a week. People are hesitating to purchase cattle. My two cows and one buffalo are yet to be sold. If they are not sold I will incur huge losses. I plan to buy seeds and am preparing for the monsoon kharif crop.”

The secretary of the Samiti, Satish Chambare said most farmers are helpless and therefore forced to sell the cattle. He said, “The cattle need ample water, fodder and grass which is not available, and the market is giving a lukewarm response. The farmers from Mysore, Indore, and adjacent states are purchasing cattle in fewer numbers. But it is convenient to take to their hometowns.”

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