The current vegetable price slump has taken its toll on Chinese farmers. Ten days ago, a 39-year-old farmer named Han Jin killed himself in Shan Dong province because of the price decrease for cabbage. China's ministries of commerce and agriculture have moved to stabilize the vegetable market after hearing the report.
Price drops for vegetables have occurred in many areas of China recently, including the national capital of Beijing, as well as Shaanxi, Zhejiang, Fujian and Henan provinces. This development has surprised many farmers, a farmer from Shandong Province says, "Everything I grew this year ended up with a sheer loss. Prices of tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers keep going down, not to mention celery and green onions. They're better off rotting on the farm."
"When my wife and I reaped cabbage in the field, we heard that the wholesale price was 0.3 yuan per kilo. But when we carried them to the market, the price had already decreased much," says a farmer at a vegetable wholesale market in Jinan.
An official in charge of market operations at the Shandong Provincial Department of Commerce, says the key to dealing with sharp price fluctuations is to encourage farmers to sell their produce in a more collective way. "For vegetable farming, the risks of sharp price fluctuations will be increased if producers sell their vegetables separately," he said.
The MOC has moved to support a mechanism that will guarantee insurance for farmers affected by price fluctuations. The new mechanism will increase sales and facilitate stronger, more stable relationships between farmers and the supermarkets where the farmers sell their produce. The MOA has also called on local governments to take measures to help farmers find new markets and stabilize vegetable production.
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