For onion growers in the state, this price fall is the lowest in two decades. State-wide Agriculture Produce Market Committee, where farmers sell their products, have fixed Rs 1 to ₹5 per kg of onion.

 

Last year, in October, the onion rate was ₹3,000 to ₹5,000 per quintal. But this year, it is only ₹250 to ₹300.

 

But surprisingly, in retail stores rate of onion is not less than ₹15. As the middlemen rule the roost, the person who invests and grows the product despite scanty rain and pest-related problems, gets hardly ₹5 per kg and those who are buying it, shell our ₹15 per kg. However, here only the person who makes money is not the grower nor the seller, but the middlemen who transport the onion from APMC to retail shops.

 

 

Reasons for price crash

The major problem for price crash of any vegetable or crop is the farmers go with the news of good price for that particular ‘product or crop’ last year. As onion production was limited last year, those who grew it got good price for their product.

 

Looking at the profit line, more farmers grew onion, which led to drop in demand. Moreover, unlike paddy or lentils shelf-life of onions is short.

 

Another reason for less demand for onion is, Tamil Nadu’s refusal to buy onion grown in Karnataka, due to Cauvery water row. It is surprising that even though Karnataka is releasing the quantum of water specified by the Supreme Court, Tamil Nadu is still hesitant to purchase materials from the state.

 

The last problem resulting in price crash is that APMC’s do not have sufficient godowns to store onions. So, whatever quantity comes to the market is dispatched to various outlets, irrespective of demand.