‘Growing onion not a viable option now’ | india | Hindustan Times
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‘Growing onion not a viable option now’

With prices plummeting to record low on account of good production and oversupply in markets, farmers are now going in for distress selling.

india Updated: Jan 06, 2012 01:26 IST
Mahesh Langa

For the last 15 years, Bharat Ramani has been cultivating onion on the 25 acres he owns. But now, a distressed Ramani has decided to cultivate onions in just 10 acres.

“This year, production has been great but prices have fallen drastically. We’re getting only Rs 45-55 per 20kg against last year’s Rs 125-140 per 20 kg.”

Lured by last year’s good prices, many farmers had cultivated onion in the hope of making healthy profits. “Unfortunately, prices have crashed to such a level that farmers cannot even recover their farming cost,” Ramani said.

With fresh onions beginning to flood the market and no space in storages, farmers have no choice but to sell their crop despite the low price.

Like others in his village, Ramani has decided to transport his produce to the nearby Gondal marketing yard to sell it. “To recover my input, labour and other costs I have to sell onions for at least is Rs 120 per 20 kg. But this year I am not realising even half of it,” he said.

In the current market scenario, Ramani feels cultivating onion is an unviable option because of increased input and labour costs.

Gujarat is one of the largest onion producers in the country. On an average, the crop is cultivated on 60,000 hectares per year in Saurashtra region alone.

“Prices of onion have crashed but export is open so good quality produce is being exported with higher price,” said principal secretary, agriculture, RK Tripathy.