Karnataka

Sunshine brings relief to onion farmers of North Karnataka

Sudden slump in the prices of onions had earlier triggered protests at various places while traders expressed helplessness over poor quality of the yield.

Sudden slump in the prices of onions had earlier triggered protests at various places while traders expressed helplessness over poor quality of the yield.   | Photo Credit: K. MURALI KUMAR

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With change in weather, quality of the produce has improved and farmers are getting better prices

The beleaguered onion farmers of North Karnataka, who were facing crop loss and price drop, are heaving a sigh of relief now after rains have stopped and there is adequate sunshine to dry their damp crops.

Ironically, farmers from the drought-prone regions of North Karnataka were hoping for good rains but eventually had to contend with excessive rain just before harvest. The dampness in the fields, which lasted long after rains stopped, complicated their problems.

Sudden slump in the prices had triggered protests at various places even as traders expressed helplessness over poor quality of the yield. Prices in the retail market were skyrocketing because of shortage in supply but farmers were not getting even the minimum price they were expecting.

Wet consignments

Farmers from various villages in the districts of Dharwad, Belagavi, Bagalkot and Vijayapura come to Hubballi APMC to sell their onion crop and several of them had returned disappointed.

“That was because we could not keep wet consignments for long. We had to dump them as the crop perishes quickly because of dampness. The slump in prices was due the damaged crop in each lot. Good quality onion got more price than before,” said onion merchant Salim Byahatti. According to him, onion from Vijayapura and Bagalkot got better price while that from Dharwad, Haveri got less.

In the first week of November, it was a pathetic situation for the rain and flood-affected farmers when the prices of both local and Teligi varieties fetched as low as ₹300 per quintal and the modal price stood around ₹1,700.

Change for the better

But now the situation has changed, farmers are getting fair prices, said Gurusiddappa Ambiger, General Secretary of the APMC Hamali Karmikara Sangha. In the last one week, the modal price of onions both local and Teligi varieties at the Hubballi APMC (Amaragol) hovered around ₹2,000 to ₹2,500.

According to Mr. Ambiger, due to changed weather, the quality of the arrivals too had improved and the farmers too were not complaining much since they were now getting better prices.

APMC data shows that while the minimum price has been ₹500, the maximum price has gone up to ₹4,500 in the last week. And on Monday, the modal price was ₹2,600 and maximum price stood at ₹4,800.

But farmers are not happy as despite short supply, there has been just a marginal increase in the prices. Fakirappa Hadimani from Navalgund was upset because, according to him, low prices were being quoted although the quality of the crop was not as bad as claimed. However, he admitted that compared to the first week of November, the situation had improved a lot now.

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Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 12:05:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/sunshine-brings-relief-to-onion-farmers-of-north-karnataka/article30016123.ece

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