Himachal farmers demand minimum support price for Ginger crop

Himachal farmers demand minimum support price for Ginger cropSirmour (HP), Mar 14: Ginger farmers and traders in Himachal Pradesh have sought minimum support price fixed by the Government so as to directly export their produce.

Bella valley in Sirmour District of Himachal Pradesh is famous for producing varieties of quality ginger and the people mainly depend on cultivating ginger for their livelihood.

Although ginger, the main cash crop of the area is now ready for export in the overseas markets, farmers are upset over the apathy of the State Government towards them despite their crop fetching valuable foreign exchange from the buyers abroad.

"The Government has not given support price to our crop. We demand that support price should be announced for our crop similar to apple growers in Shimla," said Mohan Thakur, a ginger grower.

There is a great demand for Himachal ginger in Pakistan, Afghanistan, the Middle East and several central Asian countries.

"The dried ginger from Bela is very famous and it is very much in demand in the Asian market. Our entire livelihood is dependent on this crop and we get good money for the crop," said Pratap Singh, a farmer.

The farmers have also demanded a proper market to be managed by the Government. They claimed that the dry ginger from their lands has medicinal value and usually a kilogram of dry ginger fetches upto rupees 500.

The crop is cultivated in 1850 hectares of land and the overall production is in the range of 24,000 tonnes.

Majority of people in Himachal depend on earnings from the cultivation of cash crops like apple, ginger, potato, and various fruits and vegetables. (ANI)