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Onion prices fall; farmers in tears

Onion prices fall; farmers in tears
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The volatility in the price of onions is now leaving the farmers in tears. Until recently, the government had to run subsidised sale counters at ‘Rythu Bazaars’ as the prices soared abnormally. The sudden fall of Rs 3 per kg in a single day has left the farmers in lurch.

The government imported huge quantity of onions in the wake of the recent shortage that led to steep rise in prices

Hyderabad: The volatility in the price of onions is now leaving the farmers in tears. Until recently, the government had to run subsidised sale counters at ‘Rythu Bazaars’ as the prices soared abnormally. The sudden fall of Rs 3 per kg in a single day has left the farmers in lurch.

Heaps of onions are common scene at almost all markets in the city. Keeping in view of the scarcity of onions, the government imported tonnes of loads from neighboring States like Karnataka, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. The huge import has brought down the prices of onions. As the supply surpassing the demand, the prices have come down drastically.

“The clarity is lacking on part of the government. We produced huge quantities of onions on the advice of the government. But the government could not properly assess the situation,” lamented a farmer. It is true that the government had asked farmers to grow onions as the prices skyrocketed recently. Price of one kilo reached Rs 100 at some point.

The government set up special counters to sell onions at subsidised rates then. Keeping the growing demand, the farmers also enthusiastically inclined to grow onions. “We thought we could benefit from the increasing prices. But the present situation proved heavy losses for us,” said another farmer at Malakpet market in the city. On the other hand, the government’s version is different.

“We don’t have enough production. If we stop importing from other States, the scarcity would surface again and prices may rise,” says Rajasekhar Reddy, Hyderabad Selection Grade Secretary. The rates were decided as per sizes, even the bigger ones were going for Rs 11 and 15 per kg, he added.

Ironically, the farmers are the losers at both situations. The middlemen made a killing when the prices went up. The farmers are now unable to get minimum remunerative price. Again, middlemen are purchasing the stocks at such a low price and keeping them in reserves until the price rises again, the farmers allege.

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