‘Arrival of huge stocks from neighbouring States causing further problem'

Even as the onion farmers claim that there is no demand for their produce, arrival of huge quantities from neighbouring states has resulted in further fall of price of onions.

Farmers, who sold one kg of onions at Rs.30 in January last year, are now selling it for Rs.2.50 and the second and third quality produce at Rs.2 per kg at the ‘kallams' (fields) in Krishna and Guntur districts. Farmers cultivate onion mostly in Guntur, Krishna, Kurnool and other districts in the State.

The growers raised onion in about 5,000 acres in Penumaka, Kistaipalem, Vundavalli, Venkatapalem, Yerrapalem, Mandadam, Nidamarru and in some villages in Krishna district.

“The wholesale traders and commission agents buy the produce from the farmers at ‘kallams' and market it in Tamil Nadu, Nellore, Visakhapatnam, Jangareddygudem and other places at higher price. But, there were no takers in the market this year,” said a commission agent Muppera Srinivasa Rao of Vundavalli village.

“As there was no ban on export of onions within the country, farmers from Karnataka and Maharashtra are marketing their produce in Andhra Pradesh. Some thousands of quintals of onions are arriving from Hubli and Bagdal regularly,'' said onion farmer Palagani Krishna.

“Maharashtra and Karnataka governments are procuring the produce through MARKFED and shifting the stocks to Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and other states, which is one of the reasons for fall in prices,” said Mr. Krishna.

“We have to invest about Rs.70,000 per one acre for purchasing seed, fertilizers, pesticides, labour and other charges. We are getting 5 to 7 tonnes yield per acre, and if we sell onions at Rs.2 per kg, how can we sustain,'' said farmer P. Sambasiva Rao of Penumaka village.

“This year, the cost of fine quality onion has not even touched Rs.5 per kg. As we can't stock onions like paddy and commercial crops, we request the government to procure the produce directly and provide MSP for onion farmers,'' said Mr. Rao.

Keywords: Onion prices