Farmers Ditch Guar This Year
With prices falling, farmers may opt for pulses, cotton & groundnut
Kolkata: Many guar farmers in Rajasthan, Haryana and Gujarat may shift to pulses, cotton and groundnut crops in this year’s kharif season as guar gum prices fell more than 50% and exports plunged 57% in 2015-16 compared to that in the previous fiscal.
Guar gum is now fetching .₹ 55 per kg instead of .₹ 120 a year ago. “This has not gone down well with farmers and a large section of them will shift to other remunerative crops,” said Rajesh Kedia, director, Jai Bharat Gums & Chemicals.
Exports dropped to 2.25 lakh tonnes in 201516 from 5.25 lakh tonnes a year ago. Ravi Singh, a farmer from Bikaner in Rajasthan said, “I am not going to sow guar in my entire land.” The Met department has forecast a normal monsoon and therefore guar farmers from these semi-arid states feel that cultivation of water consuming crops will not pose any problem in this year’s kharif season. “Guar cultivation requires very little water, which is why it is grown in these states. There was drought in the last two consecutive years which made the farmers sow guar. Even prices were remunerative. This year, the acreage is likely to drop 44.44% to 25 lakh hectares,” said Kedia.
Until a couple of years ago, the guar economy of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Haryana was on a roll.
Guar gum is now fetching 55 per kg instead of 120 a year ago