Middlemen take it all | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 30, 2015 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 30, 2015


Middlemen take it all

Increase farmers' access to markets

In a seminar on food security and media's role, representatives from the government and other stakeholders discussed the problems faced by farmers in the country. What came out from it was that middlemen have effectively cut off farmers' access to markets which, on the one hand deprive growers of a justified share in profits whilst hoarders who constitute the “middlemen” class reap windfall profits. This is a practice that has been going on for decades. Needless to say, such a state of affairs is hardly conducive to ensuring food security where the producer is not given any profit incentive to grow crops. The risk of letting the status quo continue of course is forcing the farmers to turn away from growing food crops altogether.

One cannot discount that the lack of adequate infrastructure, in part, has played its role in denying farmers to reach their produce to main wholesale markets in the country. There is also a great need to inform about and provide pesticides that are not harmful to the human anatomy if we are to protect our export market of vegetables and crops. The role of railways in other countries in the region, notably India, has played a major role in allowing for the shipment of perishable food items over long distances. Sadly, that is not the case in Bangladesh. It is good that the railway network is being rebuilt after decades of neglect and should go a long way in addressing the problem of reducing the influence of middlemen in the supply chain. 

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