Han hanged himself, leaving behind his wife and young daughters
In the time when the prices of everything are sky-rocketing up in China, the recent plummeting price of vegetable seems rather abnormal and it is destructive to many vegetable farmers, most of whom are the low income population. A farmer from Shan Dong province hanged himself in desperation, leaving behind his wife and two young daughters.
Han Jin, the 39 year-old farmer, was an introvert and an honest, hard working person. Last year, he was told poultry farming was a lucrative business. So he built a shed and bought some sheep with the 10 thousand yuan he borrowed. Han was anticipating earning the money for his children’s tuition. Unfortunately, the sheep were infected with epidemic disease. Instead of earning any money, the poor farmer family lost the 10,000 yuan overnight. Yet it never rains but it pours. This year, he planted cabbage in his 6 mou (around 1/3 hectares) farm land (the main source of the family’s income). But when the cabbage is ready to enter the market, its price drops to less than 0.1 yuan per 500g.
"Though the price goes up a little today, but the day he killed himself, the cabbage is sold at less than 0.1 yuan per 500g. When he was back from the vegetable market, he was crying while drinking. He said, he didn’t see any hope…" Said Han’s wife,"We lost more than 10 thousand yuan this time. He said he was so worried that he didn’t want to live any longer. I tried to comfort him. He then stopped crying and asked me and the children to go to sleep. But when I woke up, I couldn’t find him. When I went to the washroom, he was hanging in there, dead. When I cut the rope around his neck, my little daughter was there too. Now she can’t fall asleep, always cries, asking for her father… I’m going to sell the rest of the cabbage, then go to the cities to find a job. I have to raise my children and pay off the debt…"
Farmers in Ji Nan show the unsaleable cabbages
The retail price of cabbage drop by more than 40% from last year’s same period. Last April, cabbage was sold at around 2~3 yuan per kg in Qingdao, Shang Dong province, this year is around 1.2 per kg.
The nose dive in the vegetable price has left many farmers no choice but to destroy or just leave them rot in the land. There are many reasons for this abnormal nose dive in the vegetable price. For one, farmer’s expanded production of certain vegetable. Last two year’s high price has caused many farmers to expand their production and thus result in an oversupply; And another reason was the prolonged winter and delayed spring has affected the ripening times of the vegetable. Consequently, vegetables from north China and south China enter the city at the same time and again oversupply is resulted.
While the farmers selling their vegetables dirt cheap, according to the ministry of commerce, vegetable price on the market rises by 32.9%
While the farmers selling their vegetables dirt cheap, according to the ministry of commerce, vegetable price on the market rises by 32.9%. This is not hard to understand when one considers the complicated circulation links in the farm product trade process. For a head of cabbage that grows in the farmland to finally reach retailers, it has to go through a flow of 6 circulation links, which is "production (farmland) – buyers – regional markets – wholesale markets – secondary wholesale markets – retailer (supermarket)". For each circulation link, there will be around 10%-20% of price mark up. During this flow, the vegetable that’s sold at 1 yuan/kg, will ends up being sold at around 3 yuan/ kg in the supermarket.