Ranaghat, Feb.1: The farmers producing flowers in Nadia’s Ranaghat-II block have been regularly throwing out the unsold flowers on the street because the state run cold store available in the locality is out of order for over last six years.
The farmers in the block, who exclusively earn their living by producing flowers, have decided to appeal chief minister Mamata Banerjee to make the cold store located in Nokari functional so that they could preserve the unsold flowers and stop the recurring loss.
As their repeated appeals to district administration failed to make it operative, the farmers have decided meet chief minister Mamata Banerjee seeking her intervention.
In the Ranaghat-II block around one lakh people largely depend on flower farming. Flowers like Genda (Meri Gold), Rajanigandha (Tube Rose), Surya Mukhi (Sunflower), Golap (Rose), Gerbera , Tagar, Beli and many more varieties as well as decorative plants are grown in vast areas in areas like Nokari, Mathkumra, Purnanagar, Puratan Chapra, Dhantala, Kamalpur under Ranaghat-II block, which is termed as the ‘Floral Zone’ in the district.
In 2010 former chief minister Budhdhadeb Bhattacharjee inaugurated the cold store in Nokari to provide a fillip to marketing of different kinds of flowers However, the cold store become out of order barely within one year.
“The plan of the government was good, but lack of sincere approach with technical support spoiled the project for which the farmers like us are suffering”, said Kutubuddin Biswas, a flower grower in Dhantala.
In Dhantala and Nokari area of the block, farmers bring their flowers every morning for sale. The trade continues up to 10am. As the demand in the market varies regularly, farmers often left with unsold flowers of huge quantities, which they throw on the streets and dumping area.
Sujit Biswas, a farmer said: “Today I was forced to throw over 50kg of Rajanighadhi despite ongoing wedding season. There was huge supply in the market than the demand. I could not sale the flower even at thruway price of Rupees 5per kg. I have no infrastructure to preserve it, so I compelled to throw it on street”.
Madhabi Sarkar, a Chandramallika grower, who on Sunday spoiled over 20kg of unsold flower said: “For decorative flower like Chandramallika and other a cold store could be very useful. Today there was huge supply in the market. The price reached very low today. But, there was no customer. If I could preserve, it can be sold tomorrow. But, I was compelled to thrown it as garbage”.
“We have been requesting the district administration for long make the cold store functional, but nothing has been done. So we are planning to meet the chief minister in Krishnanagar when she would be visiting the town next month”, said a member of Nokari flower traders association.
An official of agri-marketing department said: “The prime object behind setting up of the cold store was to extend support to around 20000 farmers in the block who have been producing huge quantities of different types of flowers. Since the cold store become non functional, the farmers are neither getting proper price nor the required support for preservation”.
An officer of agri-marketing department said: “The cooling system of the cold store has become out of order. Moreover there are certain problems in ventilation system”.
Sub divisional officer of Ranaghat Prasenjit Chakraborty said: “An inspection has been made to make the cold store functional. The Officers of the state agri-marketing department are looking into the matter.”
Nadia zilla sabhadhipati Bani Kumar Roy said: “There were some technical problems. We are trying our best to make the cold store operative soon”.