Andhra Pradesh

Subsidised onions: Long queues no deterrent

Picture for representational purposes only.

Picture for representational purposes only.   | Photo Credit: M. Periasamy

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The biting cold was no deterrent for hundreds of people who stood in the queue for hours together to buy one kg of subsidised onions.

Even before the sale started at 7 a.m, people swarmed the farmers market as they missed their quota of priced vegetable bulb the previous day. "‘I will have to skip going to office today," said a bank employee Srinivasa Rao, who kept himself busy reading the newspaper while standing on the queue at the Kothapatnam bus stand centre.

"We can do cooking without other vegetables but not onions," said Radhika patiently waiting in the serpentine queue at the Lawyerpet Rythu Bazaar.

Upset with his wife standing in the queue at the Rythu Bazaar near the bus station, another person Ramanjaneyulu had a wordy duel with her before taking her back home to send their children to school on time. "One kg is a too small a quantity," felt yet another person, D. Ramachandra Rao while pressing for supply of at least five kg of the all-important vegetable, without which his son refuses to eat food.

Long wait

It has been a long wait for hundreds of persons who spend at least five to six hours per day to get a kg of onions as the price of the pungent vegetable went up to ₹170 per kg in the open market.

"We are supplying the vegetable bulb to about 9,000 persons each day through the four Rythu Bazaars in Prakasam district, including one in Kandukur town," Agriculture Marketing Assistant Director K.V.N. Upendra Kumar said in a conversation with The Hindu.

Arrangements have been made for supply of subsidised onions also through the Agriculture Market yard, he said.

Over 180 tonnes of onions were distributed to people since the price of the vegetable bulb crossed the ₹100 per kg mark in the open market.

"We will continue with market intervention till its price comes down below ₹40 per kg in the open market," he said. The situation is likely to ease once the imported onions from Egypt and Turkey arrive.

Farmers happy

Meanwhile, farmers in Yerragondapalem area were a happier lot as people from across the Markapur division visited their farms to buy the produce offering ₹70 to ₹80 per kg. They no longer had to go all the way to Kurnool to market their produce.

"We cultivate onions only in part of our land holding as the price of the vegetable bulb moves up and down depending upon demand-supply position, especially in Maharashtra where it is cultivated extensively," said a farmer Pulla Reddy while overseeing the loading of onions into a van of a trader from Cumbum.

The price of onions had come down a bit to ₹120 per kg from a high of ₹170 seen during last week. It is expected to move southwards once the imported onions enter the market, official sources said.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 12:42:50 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/long-queues-no-deterrent/article30308530.ece

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