Vijayapura: Rudresh Kuntoji, a farmer of Managuli Village of the Taluk had cultivated onion in his two acre land. He was elated to have a nicely grown crop which he was hoping would fetch him a good price in the market.
But now, all his hopes have shattered as the onion market has crashed.
“Leave alone making profit, the price of onion is so low that the farmer will not recover even the transportation cost,” he said. He said that he is not in a position even to keep the onion for a longer duration till the market picks up as onion is a perishable commodity which cannot be stored for a longer period. This is the situation which all the onion farmers of the District are facing after the prices of onion has nosedived in the open market.
The farmers say that they spend around Rs. 60,000 on the cultivation of onion on an acre of land. They said that if onion fetches at least Rs. 2000 per quintal, only then the farmers would be able to make some profit.
“But today, the prices in the open market are too low. Each quintal is sold only between Rs. 200 to Rs. 800 based on the size of the onion,” he rued.
Anandappa Dodmani, another onion farmer of Nidagundi Village said that he will dump around seventy bags of onion if he fails to get a good price in the market in a few days. He said that some rich farmers have got the onion shed built which helps them store the onion for a few weeks but since not all farmers have their sheds, they will either have to sell the onion for whatever prices they get or take risk of waiting for the market to pick up.
“Even if we wait for some time, if the onion starts rotting, then the farmers will not get any price for the onion,” he said.
Meanwhile, Former Minister and Congress MLA Shivanand Patil has demanded the Government to announce Minimum Support Price (MSP) of Rs. 2,000 for a quintal of onion to rescue the farmers from incurring heavy loss.
The District cultivates onion on around 40,000 hectares of land, annually.
Meanwhile, the C. S. Baragimath, the Deputy Director of Horticulture Department informed that they have not received any information about MSP being declared by the Government for the onion.
“Since onion is a perishable commodity, even if the Government decides to offer MSP, it should be done on a fast-track mode as the harvesting of the onion has started already. After the announcement of MSP, the Department will have to open procurement centres. The procurement and disposal of onion should be done within a fortnight as the onion cannot be kept for a longer period,” he said.
The official informed that the MSP will help the farmers to sell the onion at better prices, at the same time, the private buyers will also increase the price of onion if they need to do the business,” he said.