Green beans farmers in J-K see red; second season crop turns less profitable
Farmers, who sold green beans at the rate of Rs 30 per kg in May this year, are forced to sell the second season’s produce in September at Rs 15 per kg.
Srinagar: Green beans farmers in Jammu and Kashmir are a worried lot. Finding a market from their produce is turning out to be difficult, more so for the second season’s crop.
Farmers who sold their green beans crop at the rate of Rs 30 per kilogram in May this year, are now forced to sell the second season’s produce now (in September) at Rs 15 per kilogram.
The green bean seeds in Kashmir valley are sown in two seasons every year, in the months of March and July and it takes approximately two months for the crop to be cultivable. Normally, the first season’s crop is quite profitable for the farmers as they get good rates when the harvest the crop in the month of May.
Mohammad Akram Lone, a farmer in Lonepora village of southern Kashmir’s Pulwama district, told Digpu News that his family was busy renovating their house and could not get time to sow the seeds.
“We had sown the seeds in July this year and our crop is now ready to go to the Mandi. However, the rates have declined drastically. Those who had harvested the same crop in first season sold their produce at Rs 30 per kilogram, but we are getting only Rs 15 for the same quantity,” he said.
The retailer vegetable seller sells the same at around Rs 25 per kilogram, which means that they get around Rs 7 per kilogram if the transportation fare is deducted.
“This is very depressing sometimes,” Lone says, pointing to the profit margin of retailers. He believes that the second season’s crop is not lucrative anymore as they get underpaid for their hard work.
Among other factors, the farmer believes that less demand for the vegetables in September and Covid scenario have been responsible for the price drop. People prefer other ‘less-expensive’ vegetable in place of green beans these days, he adds.
Green bean crops require sustained hard work
The process involved in cultivating green beans is tiresome. Farmers have to first spray chemicals or herbicides to kill or inhibit unwanted weeds. Then follows the tilling of the land with tractors or manually using spades.
Seeds are sown, which are usually available in the market for around Rs. 250 per kilogram. There are also some cheaper varieties, but farmers usually don’t like to take risk or experiment with the seed varieties.
Usually, it takes around two months for the green bean crop to become cultivable. However, rain and disease outbreak also play their role, prolonging the process.
Those who sow the seeds in March have their crops ready by May and the ones who prefer the cultivation in September sow the seeds in July.
Akram Lone had utilized his two kanals of land for the cultivation of green beans and he was only able to reap 20 bags of around 30 kg from the same.
“This has two varieties – pencil (longer) bean and a shorter bean. The pencil bean is in demand and fetches comparatively more prices,” he informs.
Short life makes green bean a perishable vegetable
The green beans have a shorter shelf life, which makes it a perishable crop. This is what forces the farmers to sell the crop at the prevailing market price. The perishable nature of the crop, in turn, takes away their bargaining power.
The produce is to be transported to the mandis within a span of 24 hours, so that the sale ends within a week.
Any unfavourable situation like a shutdown will see the crop perish and result in losses.
The green bean in kitchen
The green bean serves as a vegetable dish in the valley and outside as well. Green beans are available fresh, preserved, and frozen forms, and are enjoyed all over the world. Raw, steamed, boiled, stir-fried, or baked are all options. Soups, stews, and casseroles are just a few of the ways they are used. Green beans, like cucumbers, may also be pickled.
Green beans are frequently offered as vegetable chips, either dry or fried alongside vegetables including carrots, maize, and peas.
Heathy meals with green beans
Green beans are a good source of antioxidants and are rich in flavonol glucuronide miquelianin. Besides, they are also rich in proteins.
Health experts believe that consumption of green beans helps reduce the risk of cancer. Moreover, they are beneficial for heart health. Beans also help slow down the problem of fatty liver.