Onion prices crash in wholesale market; bring tears to farmers

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 17 May 2017 10:20:19



Business Bureau

AFTER an interval of four years, this season, the prices of onion have crashed in the wholesale market of Kalamna resulting into huge losses to the farmers. The prices during the previous years had touched the roof at Rs 80 per kilogram.
This season, farmers anticipated that they would get handsome income from onion and a majority of the farmers cultivated onion in their respective fields.

There is over-production of onion in the country and therefore the farmers are not even getting the returns on their
investments. The prices quoted on Tuesday at Kalamna for good quality of onion was Rs 5.75 per kg while at retail, it is Rs 10 per kg. “Such type of situation arises every three to four years,” said Jaiprakash Vasani, President of the Kanda Batata Adatiya Welfare Association, Kalamna.

At Kalamna, daily 15-20 commercial vehicles with a capacity 12 tonnes, are unloaded. The supply is mostly from Amravati, Akola, Buldhana and local places. There are also 8 to 10 vehicles arriving from places like Jalgaon and Chalisgaon.

“Daily, over 10 vehicles are being unloaded at Kalamna when compared with the year-ago period. This year, the production has increased by 150 per cent and more stock is with farmers in their fields,” Vasani said. He said that Nagpur supplied onion to various places in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. This season, there was also good production of onion in Mahuwa village, Bhavnagar district of Gujarat, Ratlam, Ujjain and Sagar districts in Madhya Pradesh.

Like other agriculture produce, onions cannot be stored in cold storage. After harvesting, farmers keep onion at their fields for 20 to 25 days and then bring it to sell in the market. In the wholesale market, onions are available for household storage. “The cost of onion from farm to market comes to Rs 6 per kg. Any price above Rs 6 will give us some returns. Otherwise, we are the losers. Farmers are the worst sufferers in the country. Lot of things are being promised for the farmers but when it comes to ground reality, there is no relief,” said Ashish Raut, a farmer