Han Jin, a cabbage farmer in East China's Shandong province, was suspected to kill himself for the product that doesn't seem to sell this year, Shandong Business Daily reported Wednesday.
Han's wife said her husband committed suicide after the price offered by vegetable dealers hit a low of 0.16 yuan (2.5 cents) per kilogram, which meant he would have to lose about 10,000 yuan for his cabbage.
Many other cabbage farmers in Tangwang town, Jinan, capital of Shandong province, are also feeling the market chill as the weather gets warmer.
According to one farmer, vegetable dealers are offering 0.6 yuan at most for a kilogram of cabbage, thanks to the cold weather that hindered the supply. However, "I should gain at least 0.3 yuan per 500 grams to avoid losing money," said the farmer. Price from earlier years ranged from 1 yuan to 1.6 yuan per kilogram. Last year the price even reached 2 yuan per kilogram.
An agricultural management official surnamed Jiang, at Tangwang town government, said prolonged cold weather this year led to a longer ripening time and vegetables from southern areas bring prices down.
Similar things happened in Central China's Jiayu county of Hubei province, according to the National Business Daily. A local cabbage farmer told the newspaper that they sold the cabbage for 0.05 yuan per kilogram, only making 0.02 yuan in profit from each kilogram.
Sources told National Business Daily that the low prices are due to both weather and large-scale cultivation. Liu Min, an official at Jiayu county's agricultural department, said, "Last year cabbage was sold at 1.2 yuan per 500 grams at food markets. It lured more farmers into growing cabbage. In addition, the state government strengthened its support for agriculture last year. As a result, the supply of cabbage increased greatly this year."