Farmers face difficulties due to the low prices of cardamom

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Khun Clai Free

Farmers from Kayah State and Kayan region are facing difficulties as cardamom prices have fallen compared to previous years.

Last year, a three-pack of raw cardamom cost up to 17,000 kyats, but this year it costs only around 7,000 kyats.

Last year, the closing price of dried cardamom with shell was 18,000 kyats per Peitta (Myanmar measure unit); and this year, the price has fallen to around 6,000 kyats per Peitta.

A cardomom farmer, named Sakhoon L. Poun Sho Nwet, said “Most of us are in trouble this year. We, cardamom farmers, have to rely on cardamom business to support our families. Farmers are facing a lot of difficulties this year because cardamom has no price.”

Even though the owners have to pay 5,000 kyats a day for the local cardamom harvester, it is difficult to pay the rent due to the low price of cardamom.
Farmers say that the market for cardamom fluctuates from year to year, with prices reaching as high as 20,000 per Peitta of dried cardamom with shell some years.
Fenugreek is a perennial plant that relies on forests to prevent deforestation.

Cardamom is a perennial plant that relies on forests which also prevent deforestation.
Although some farmers, however, tried to focus to cultivate the cardamom plantation rather than shifting cultivation, there has been a shortage of buyers for cardamom seed this year due to the price.

“Even the buyers did not come. The situation are going like that. People buy the raw cardamom. Or they said they want only dried cardamom or they said they would buy only if the stalk is dried enough. At the moment, I think they will come and buy one day. They come twice a week like this. But the price is not good. ”

Farmers say this year’s weather has affected the yield of cardamom. Due to the low rate of rainfall, many paddy fields have not been cultivated, and farmers are facing difficulties due to the low prices, despite the intention to rely on cardamom.

It said there are some people who have to exchange a bag of rice for three or five bags of raw cardamom with stalks in order to make their living so far.

Sakhoon Than Thet who is buying the cardamom, said “This year has been really difficult. If we send them because of COVID, we will be in trouble. Because there is no transporation road. As we don’t have any trunk, we can only send it with the cars come across us.”

In the past, brokers from Taungoo used to come to buy local cardamom, but this year, farmers are facing difficulties due to travel restrictions due to COVID and low prices of cardamom.

In Kayah State, cardamom is the product grown mainly by locals in the western part of Hpruso Township and in Mawchi Village areas, Hpa-Saung Township.

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