Alirajpur (Madhya Pradesh): Amid ongoing farmers’ protest around the national capital over the farm bill, state’s one of the biggest mango mandis in Alirajpur finds itself in the middle of a controversy after some of middlemen are openly exploiting farmers right under the nose of administration.
Farmers who bring their produce at mandi expect to fetch a good price for their crops. They said that they are being looted openly by middlemen but neither the district administration nor the public representatives pay attention to it.
About 150 to 200 farmers come to mango mandi daily to sell their harvest. Mandi fee is charged from the farmers according to the bid ranging from Rs 100 to Rs 250.
On an average, Rs 150 charged are charged from each farmer. As more than 200 farmers come to mandi daily, this amount come to Rs 30,000. But who gets this money is not known. In this way, the mango trade goes on for 45 to 60 days. So, one can easily image the loot.
Besides this, mandi fee is also deducted from money, which farmers earn after selling their mangoes. And this has been going on for past several years.
According to farmers Versingh, Juwansingh, Prem Singh, Ramesh, Ritesh, Gumansingh, Chhatar Singh, middlemen take money for mango produce sold in the market as mandi fee. “Some farmers told us that money is taken from them every year. We do not know the rules. What to do? The middlemen take the cut. It should be investigated thoroughly,” he added.
Farmers said that no action is taken against registered arhatiyas ( middlemen) who rob them.
Farmers said complaint lodged with sub-divisional magistrate Laxmi Gamad met with no response. When contacted, she asked media person to send complaint in writing.
Mandi board joint director Chandrashekhar Vashistha admitted that what is going on in Alirajpur mango mandi is against the law. Under Mandi Act, taking fee from farmers is prohibited. If anyone makes such illegal recovery from farmers, then action is taken after inquiry.
Alirajpur MLA Mukesh Patel said it is wrong to take money from farmers for any product in the market. “This should not happen and we will get it investigated and action will be taken against the guilty,” he added.