Hubballi: Farmers from nearby districts have flooded the Amargol APMC in Hubballi with onion stocks to sell under the minimum support price (MSP). Since the procurement of onion was stopped on Friday for want of more space to store the same, those farmers who came from far off places are bearing the brunt.
As the prices of onion have crashed in the APMC market, the government is buying onion at MSP. Since a week hundreds of vehicles carrying onion bags are seen standing in long queues in the APMC yard.
Since last Monday itself, farmers started coming to the APMC along with onion-laden tractors, trucks and other vehicles. Farmers from Bagalkot, Dharwad, Gadag, Koppal, Belagavi and Haveri districts are bringing onion in huge quantities.
As the procurement centres opened by the government are purchasing 30 mm diameter onion at a rate of Rs 624 per quintal, the officials refused to purchase onions less than the prescribed size. This disappointed many farmers and they expressed ire against the officials.
“Auctioning of onions procured from November 4 to 30 is not yet completed. There is also lack of space to store onions already procured. Onions procured is being sent to Mysuru and Bengaluru, for auctioning.
The procurement process would resume on Monday, December 5 and would go on till December 7,” said Karnataka State Co-operative Marketing Federation Branch Manager Mallikarjun Mallammanavar.
It’s double trouble for many farmers who have sold their onion stock at APMC and are waiting to get their money through online transaction.
While officials are telling that within a week the onion price will be remitted to their accounts, farmers are badly in need of cash as they have to pay farm labourers.
More than one thousand farmers in Dharwad district have sold around 44,600 quintals of onion at the procurement centre set up by the government since November 4. Heavy rush of the distressed farmers has prompted the government to extend duration of procurement by one week till December 7. Still, farmers are waiting in queue for more than two days to sell their onion produce. Many of them are selling their produce to middlemen and commission agents at throw away prices as they cannot wait for days for support price braving cold weather in the yard.
A farmer Rudrayya Hiremath of Kalakeri village in Nargund taluk said he sold the produce to middleman as he was unable to wait for two days and incur expenditure of tractor transportation.
Due to storage space issues, once the existing produce is shifted towards Bengaluru and Mysuru, the procurement will start again, APMC officials said.