Nawanshahr: After pea and potato growers, the farmers having planted ‘poplar’ are falling prey to unscrupulous wood traders and industrialists.
The rates of poplar and safeda wood have nosedived in couple of years whereas prices of plywood have seen considerable hike.
Against the price of Rs 1,200-1,300 per quintal four years ago, the farmers get merely Rs 300-500 per quintal only for poplar. Interestingly, the rate of good quality plywood has risen to Rs 115 per sq ft from around Rs 100 per sq ft during this period.
Speaking to Daily Post on the issue, Paramjit Singh, panchayat member of village Janiwal in bet area who has grown poplar on 6 acres said that around six years back, he had earned nearly Rs 7 lakh from poplar sown in two acres, and on the boundary of four acres.
“This year the prices have plummeted to such an extent that thinking of earning profit does not comes into the mind,” added Singh.
He blamed Chinese wood cutting machines which reportedly do not cut heavy logs of wood and unholy nexus of wood traders and industrialists. “Earlier, the farmers used to wait for the widening of the girth of trees to get a good price for their produce but now, as Chinese machines have been installed at saw mills, we are forced to sell our crops early as there are no buyers for big trees,” he revealed.
It is pertinent to mention that poplar and safeda are cultivated on large scale in Balachaur and bet areas of Nawanshahr.
Satpal, a farmer of Garlo bet stated that central and state governments are responsible for miserable plight of farmers. “ In the present scenario, the farmers are being exploited by cartel of industrialists and trades as hovernment does not fix Minimum Support Price, ” he said.
Meanwhile, the affected farmers have decided to launch a state wide stir against corrupt practices of traders and industrialists.
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