Skyrocketing prices of onions may have bought tears in the eyes of consumers while it proved beneficial for some farmers. The onions year 2019, made some farmers rich.
Farmers Get Rich
Despite the slump in the economy, onion farmers in Kalwan taluka of Nashik district of Maharashtra bought about 250 tractors on a single day in September this year. Moreover, they also bought 21 cars and around 500 two-wheelers by paying 70% of the amount in cash. This major onion growing region purchased as the prices of onions reached around Rs 4000 per quintal during that time. Similarly, Mallikarjuna, a Chitradurga based onion farmer became rich as the price of onions touched Rs 200 per kg. This farmer, then debt-ridden, has now planned to buy more land to expand onion production.
The Onion Crisis
The case is not the same for the general public. Citing the hike in price, hotels, and restaurants in Kerala complained about losing customers. At one point onion prices in retail touched Rs 200 per kg during festivities leaving businesses red faced.
Yalamanchili Sivaji, farmer leader, and former Rajya Sabha MP stated that India needs a proper mechanism to handle these types of situations. He pointed out the time when farmers were forced to sell onions at a very low price because of bumper produce and no facility to store them. He demanded to bring agriculture marketing under concurrent list as the state government do not provide basic storage facilities despite collecting huge amount as market cess. Besides, it will improve the implementation of various agricultural reforms.
On the price hike, Isha Foundation founder Sadhguru said that Farmer is a common man too and needs a good income for the hard work.
The government rather needs to focus on strengthening the overall system of agriculture. Market intelligence can help the government in initiating policies in advance, especially for sensitive commodities such as onions.
In all, the government would have taken the required measures to avoid such a price hike. Onions remain a staple ingredient in India and controlling prices is necessary to control inflation.