Rajasthan: Mehendi farmers say duplicity is wrecking business

Last Updated: Thu, Dec 06, 2018 04:51 hrs

[India], Dec 06 (ANI): Sojat Tehsil of Pali district is famous for mehendi farming. The mehendi leaves of this place travel all over the world for its quality, yet, many farmers here have stopped producing the same due to the availability of duplicate products in the market.

Ganpatlal, a mehendi farmer who has been in the business since 1991, told ANI: "Farmers here earn their livelihood through mehendi farming, yet many of them have stopped it as they are unable to meet their daily needs. People who are selling duplicate mehendi are earning in lakhs and we are incurring loss even though we produce 100 per cent original mehendi."

Further substantiating his stance, Ganpatlal asserted, "The government must take stringent action against those who sell duplicate products. A proper inquiry must be done in this regard and products should be tested to ensure originality."

In Sojat tehsil, there are at least 2000-3000 villages which are involved in mehendi farming, even though the plantation requires rainwater which is scanty in the region. In the entire process, leaf cutting is the costliest.

In 2016, the farmers protested against the selling of duplicate mehendi and also submitted letters to the concerned office, only for their pleas to fall on deaf ears. The farmers also claimed that they also approached the Chief Minister, but the scenario did not change.

Umendra Chowdhary, another mehendi farmer, said: "The duplicate mehendi is eating up our market. I know many farmers who have stopped farming mehendi and are moving to other professions in search of livelihood. But even then they are failing to earn a minimal livelihood because they do not know anything apart from farming. Some of them are also travelling to other states in search of work."

The present cost of good quality mehendi leaves ranges from Rs 3000 to Rs 4000 for 40 kg. The rate is satisfactory, but once the supply increases, the rate drops to a meager Rs 800 for the same quantity.

"Mehendi farming is not seasonal, but once the leaf becomes moist its quality deteriorates. We fail to sell it and the government also does not provide any compensation. As a result, we incur huge losses at that time," added Chowdhary. (ANI)