Farmers worried as ginger price hits a record low.
Farmers growing ginger are worried this time as the price of ginger has fallen to a record low of Nu 15 per kg for the new harvest that has started to hit the market. Last year, at this time of the year, the price of ginger had skyrocketed to Nu 120 per kg, which is nowhere near this time. Farmers said that the drastic drop in price is worrying. Dhan Bdr Rai, 23, a farmer from Logchina, has sold 1,200kg of ginger at Nu 15 per kg. Last year he fetched Nu 35 per kg. He said that the better yield this year has caused a surplus supply in the market, thus decreasing the rate. 'The price is too low. But we are hopeful to recover from the total yield,' Dhan Bdr said, though he still has around another 1500 kg of ginger to be sold. He added that he would only sell when the price picks up.
Another farmer Dik Bdr said that the plummeting price has worried the farmers as ginger constitutes a major source of income for them apart from cardamom. 'Since cardamom is gradually dying, now we rely on ginger and put all our hard effort. We expected the price to be better for better income,' he said, adding that he has harvested around 1,000 kg of ginger this year and is waiting to sell those. Meanwhile, traders say that the better yields in India have also caused the price of ginger to drop this year. All the ginger growing states of West Bengal and Assam in India have reaped better yield this year. 'Since ginger is exported to India, the surplus supply from within India has also caused the price to drop,' Mitlesh Kumar, an Indian trader said.
Farmers from Siliguri, Dhuguri, Manali, Shillong in India and even Nepal supply ginger to the Indian market at this time of the year. However, traders also say that farmers bring lower quality product in the market which are not worth paying more. 'They keep the best quality ones for the later and brings them when the price shoots,' Mitlesh Kumar said, adding that traders are willing to pay up to Nu 25 per kg for better quality ginger. The price is however expected to rise gradually, according to traders. The price may go up to Nu 40 per kg this year. Another trader said the price may increase during the off season, which begins from January to July. 'We are hoping that we can help farmers by offering the best price,' said Singye Wangdi, another trader who gets ginger from the locals of Phuentsholing and Logchina gewog.