After severe drought in the kharif season (2012), farmers are distressed as prices of several commodities have crashed in wholesale markets across the State.

Prices of copra, coconut, onion, tomato, black gram and maize fell after the arrival of commodities in wholesale markets in the last few days.

Following the slide in prices, the Government has directed the Karnataka Cooperative Marketing Federation and other agencies to procure commodities at minimum support prices fixed by the Centre to prevent distress sale by farmers.

Copra

Copra prices were ruling at Rs 4700- Rs 4800 per quintal in Tiptur, the major copra market in the State. The minimum support price (MSP) fixed by the Centre for copra is Rs 5350 per quintal.

A Cabinet subcommittee headed by Deputy Chief Minister K S Eshwarappa, which chaired a meeting on October 9, has come to the rescue of growers by deciding to grant additional support of Rs 700 a quintal of copra and above the already existing MSP of Rs 5,350 per quintal during 2012.

Coconut growers would get additional benefit of Rs 7/kg. The State Government has released Rs five crore to Karnataka Co-operative Marketing Federation to procure copra at Rs 6050 per quintal. It has been decided to procure 75,000 quintals of copra under the market intervention scheme of the State.

Each coconut farmer can supply only 10 quintal of copra to the procurement agency to get additional support price (Rs 700), Federation officials told The Hindu on Friday.

The Federation already procured 53,000 quintals of copra at Rs 5350 per quintal. It would handover procured corpa to National Agriculture Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED).

Coconut

The price for coconut has been fixed at Rs 1400 per quintal. The price of coconut crashed to Rs 1000 per quintal in Chamarajangar district. A growers’ society has been procuring coconuts in the district.

In Chamarajanagar district coconut plantations spread over 11,500 hectares and it produces 12.42 lakh coconuts a year. The Deputy Commissioner of Chamarajnagar has been instructed to procure coconuts at MSP of Rs 1400 per quintal.

Onion

The Cabinet sub-committee has fixed the onion price at Rs 360 per quintal. Onion crop was grown on 22,299 hectares in the State in the 2012 kharif season. Expecting fall in the prices of onion this year also, the Government decided to intervene in the market and fixed the price at Rs 360 a quintal, the officials said.

The price of ‘A’ grade onion is fixed at Rs 760 per quintal, ‘B’ grade – Rs 560 per quintal and ‘C’ grade – Rs 360 per quintal.

The Deputy Commissioners, who are also heading district task forces, have been told to open procurement centres to purchase the commodity from growers.

Tomato

Tomato prices are crashed and farmers have been staging protests by throwing their produces on roads in Chikmagalur district. Tomatoes being sold at one rupee per kg in Chikmaglaur market.

The committee has fixed the tomato prices at Rs 250 per quintal. Deputy Commissioners have been instructed to procure tomatoes though HOPCOMS.

Black gram

The falling prices of black gram have left farmers worried in Gulbarga and Bidar districts. The State Federation has been told to procure the commodity at MSP of Rs 4400 a quintal. The gain is selling between Rs 2900 to Rs 3300 per quintal at the APMC yards in both districts.

Maize

Prices of maize crashed below MSP of Rs 1190 per quintal in Shimoga, Davanagere, Haveri, Chitradurga and Belgaum districts, the officials said. (EOM)..