Farmers suffer losses, as onion prices continue to dip
Customers find onions are not expensive anymore. The wholesale price of onions range from a minimum of Rs two per kg to a maximum of Rs eight per kg. However, onion farmers are not even earning back the amount they invested.
Subhash Rao Gudde an onion farmer from Maharashtra says, “I have come here to sell onions. The prices are less and that’s the reason why I’m facing losses. I have lost Rs 30,000 in nearly two months. And I’m not even getting any benefits.”
Last year, Maharashtra farmers stocked onions because they couldn’t export and this year production is more in both the states. Hence, combining the both together supply is more.
H.C Gajendra K.M.S Additional Director of Agricultural Marketing Secretary said, “Due to less rainfall last year, we are getting damaged onions now whose prices are less. The Fair Average Quality (FAQ) onions are very less. We are giving supporting price now. Below Rs 700 per quintal we are giving Rs 200 compensation.”
According to the Department of Horticulture, onion production in Karnataka rose by 14 per cent this year 2018 – 19 where as compared to the previous year it was 10 per cent. Export of onions is reduced. Hence, there is excess production.
B.L Shankarappa an Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) said, “Farmers are unaware of as to how much to produce and even when to produce. Government is responsible to make sure that the farmers know and are not confused. They have been sowing more, leading to more supply and less demand.”
Experts say, better transport and storage facilities could be helpful. Priyankar Raha, Head of Soil Sciences and Agricultural Chemistry Department at Banaras Hindu University (BHU) said, “Proper warehousing is a must. The government of India and Karnataka has not developed proper warehousing and stores to procure onions.”
The export market could also be tapped. Countries like Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh need onions. Although, even after the approval of Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) to improve onion prices. Implementation for the same is lacking.