The most important thing for the recuperation of the affected farmers is the availability of the market. It is high time that the government heeded to their problems or else they will give up the cultivation of Guava.
Rajasthan— Sawai Madhopur district of Rajasthan registers a yearly trade of Rs 500 crore annually. The Dharti Putra (farmers) are holding up the economy of the district but the farmers think that the government has stopped caring about them. This is the reason that the farmers of the biggest guava-producing districts of the state are not having access to the market at the local level and also that there has been no step to increase the production of Guava.
The experts say that up to three decades ago the economy of Sawai Madhopur was dependent on cement factories. When the factory closed then Tourism along with gardening opted by the farmers took the economy to new heights. The government has focused on increasing tourism and brought Agriculture to collapse. More than 20 thousand people in the district depend upon the cultivation of Guava, whereas the tourism industry has only benefited the capitalists. The government needs to take steps to materialize the promises made in the election.
The Government’s apathy is affecting the farmers of Sardi ka Mewa
The government had started EK Zila EK Utpad Yojana in 700 districts of the country to facilitate the trade of traditional goods. Under this scheme, all states have to work together. The traditional industry of every industry has to be encouraged. Out of the 33 districts in the state of Rajasthan, Sawai Madhopur was selected for the production of Guava. After the announcement of the scheme, the farmers associated with the farming of Guava found a ray of hope. But due to the government’s apathy, the hopes seem to be dissipating. Neither the state nor the Central Government has made any attempts for the expediting the scheme.
Regional MLAs not realizing the gravity of the matter
What steps can be taken to increase the trade of Guava. Speaking to The Mooknayak on this issue, the member of Jaipur Royal family and descendant of Sawai Madho Singh, the founder of Sawai Madhopur and Rajya Sabha MP Diya Kumari said the production of Guava in Sawai Madhopur happens at a large scale. I don’t understand why is it not being increased. When I was the MLA I did a lot of work for the farmers. Especially it was my dream to make available a market at the local level for guava and setting up a Food Processing plant at the level of government. For this land was also allocated. But I think the work has stopped now. I am an MP in Rajsamand, nevertheless, I will try to do whatever I can for the farmers of Sawai Madhopur. I am connected to the people here. For the farmers of Guava, it is important that food processing centre is set-up”.
She also alleged that the current Rajasthan Government is not letting it move. “For this, the project is prepared at the state level. After this, the central government will take it forward. I will put forward the issue with the government if the need arises. I think they are not willing to do it at the state level. The local MLA of Sawai Madhopur is also not realizing that how important the project is. There is some political issue over the project not moving forward. This is very easy for the state government. The Central Government also provides financial help for this. If there is the consumption of Guava in the district then the farmers will also save the expense on transport. This will lead to higher profit”.
The Mooknayak tried to reach the local MLA Danish Abrar but there was no response from his side.
A Big farmer and Congress Leader Dr. Mumtaz Ahmad say “The production of Guava takes place at a large scale in the district, despite this, the citizens are waiting for a Food Processing Plant. If the district is gifted with a Food Processing Plant then the district will also get jobs. Then the pickle of Guava, marmalade, papad, etc will be produced. The income of the people will be increased and they will also get employment. The district gets a major share of income from Tourism and Guava. The trade of Guava has reached 5 billion rupees. Presently, the farmers have to go to Delhi, Agra, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal, etc. High cost of transportation prevents them from recovering the costs. In such a scenario, the government should make the EK Zila Ek Utpad (One district, One Product) scheme work at the ground level. Announcements alone would not work. He said that through Food Processing Plant industries related to Guava, pulp processing, setting grading, and production units of candy, juice, etc can be set up.
Ahmad says that Guava of Madhopur was selected as per PM Suksham Khadya Udyog Unnayan Yojana Atma Nirbhar Bharat and Vocal for Local.
What do the farmers associate with Guava farming say?
Gajanand Patel a farmer from the Banot Gaon of Sawai Madhopur says “Sawai Madhopur accounts for 75% of horticulture of Guava in Rajasthan. The guavas produced here are famous all over the country. People are shifting to Guava from traditional farming. In such a scenario if food processing is established then the picture of horticulture can be changed.
Ram Sahay Meena of Vilopa Village says “The bread and butter of thousands of people is linked to the galore production of Guava. Setting up of Food Processing Unit will enable the production of different by-products of Guava. The Government, public representatives and MLAs should heed this, so that the farmers are benefitted.
Deputy-Pradhan of Panchayat Samiti in Malarna Dungur, who also happens to be associated with the farming of Guava says. The unavailability of the market in the district leads to the rotting of the Guava in the home itself. After setting up of Food Processing Industry the by-products will be made and income at the local level will be generated.
Chandra Prakash Badaya, Assistant Director Zoology Department, Sawai Madhopur told The Mooknayak that departmental advice is being given on the importance of setting up of Food processing unit. The farmers will see an increase in income. Interested farmers can apply for it.
[Translated By Pratikshit Singh]