Agri Business

Guar brightens Rajasthan farmers' life

Suresh P. Iyengar Sri Ganganagar (Rajasthan) | Updated on November 25, 2017

guar

Seventy-year-old Birbal Ramji has locked in a safe a quintal of guarseed. He's kept it for sowing on his 10 acre land at Shree Ganganagar. The seeds are sown in July and the crop is harvested in November. He is elated that he sold 20 quintals for Rs 560,000 early this month.

Another farmer Ramesh Beniwal, 73, could not stomach the dizzying price rise in guar. Now, he feels unsafe in his own village. “I have to take extra care of 10 quintals of guar left out of last year's harvest. If this price rise continues, robberies will increase,” he says.

Guar is the new gold in the Bikaner district of Rajasthan. A number of farmers have reaped a huge bonanza. It has led to a mix of emotions and reactions. There is elation. There is fear. There is ostentatious consumption and extravagant indulgences. A few are using the windfall to expand their land holdings.

Guar prices have skyrocketed from Rs 2,000-Rs 4,000 a quintal last season to Rs 30,000 a quintal on the back of strong demand from the oil and gas sector. The sharp increase in price has led to termination of futures trading in this commodity. The measure could hardly cool down the prices.

Guar prices in Jodhpur had jumped to Rs 30,300 a quintal on Wednesday from Rs 26,700 on March 27, when futures were banned.

Capitalising on high price

Mr Gurbal Pal Singh from Takrawada village, who owns 48 acres, has bought a high breed Nukra stallion for Rs 5 lakh. His face lights up when his 12-year-old son saddles the horse with ease. Most of the farmers in this village have sold guarseed at Rs 6,500 a quintal, he said.

Mr Dharmendra Rewar, who found employment with the Delhi Police recently, realised Rs 240,000 by selling eight quintals of guarseed two days back. His brother takes care of the field in his absence.

Mr Rewars, who currently own 25 acres, plan to buy more agriculture land. Sale of latest model of Audi, BMW and Toyota-Fortuner has seen a steady rise among the young farmers in these villagers.

Having missed the opportunity to save enough money for buying a tractor, Mr Bagyarath Saran has already started preparing the field for sowing in July.

“I missed capitalising on the last season as I sold my produce at Rs 5,000 a quintal. My field is almost ready. If rain God is kind to me, I will buy a tractor like my neighbour,” says Saran.

With guar farmers on cloud nine, traders are not far behind.

Mr Radhashyam Krishan, a stockist, has been accumulating guar for last 10 years. In January, he offloaded 500 quintals at Rs 11,000 to Rs 12,000 a quintal. He wants to take his family on a holiday to Hong Kong and invest in real estate.

“We have been leasing out our 25 acres for about Rs 1 lakh every year. This time around we want to cultivate on our own by employing a few farmers,” he said.

( The trip was sponsored by NCDEX.)

>suresh@thehindu.co.in

Published on May 10, 2012

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