Bengal farmers running out of cold storage space
With the harvest season starting next month, it’s going to be a tough time for farmers. More than 420 cold storages out of 470 in the state observed a day-long strike on Monday protesting the state government’s decision of not increasing the rentals. The state government controls rent for the cold storages loading potato.
Patit Paban Dey, a member of the West Bengal Cold Storage Association, said, “If rentals are not revised, many of the cold storage owners will be forced to down shutters. That will be disastrous for farmers but we are unable to run cold storages at the present rates.”
According to him, while operational costs have gone up by 50% in last three years, there has been no change in the rentals since 2010.
The state government increased rentals in February 2010 by R14 per quintal.
Tomato traders in the state are also fearing a crop loss as the state is headed for a bumper season.
GK Lahoti, a tomato trader, feels that if the crop is not preserved properly, it will lead to a huge loss next year.
“We are expecting at least three-fold increase in tomato production in Haldibari area in north Bengal. It will lead to disaster if the crop is not preserved. We had
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