Farmer earns Re 1 after selling one tonne of onions

Sacks of onions being carried on a cart by labourers, in Kolkata. Photo: PTI
In a bizarre claim, a farmer has said he could earn only Re 1 from sale of nearly a tonne of onions at the district Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC).

According to Devidas Parbhane, 48, the fall in onion prices is already taking a toll and like him, several others have got a 'raw deal' despite a bumper crop this season.

"Every day, we are hearing news about farmer suicides from drought-hit regions. However, with onion prices touching new lows, farmers like me may be meeting the same fate," said Parbhane, the sole bread-earner for his family of five.

Parbhane explains the math: he has two acres of farm land in which he grew onions by spending Rs 80,000.

"On May 10, I sent 952 kg of onions in 18 gunny bags through a truck to the Pune-based Agriculture Produce Market Committee and received Rs 16 per 10 kg. So, per one kg, it works to one rupee and sixty paise," said Parbhane.

"The total onion was sold for Rs 1,523.2. Out of the earnings, the middlemen took away Rs 91.35 as commission, labour charges were Rs 59 and Rs 18.55, and Rs 33.30 was paid against miscellaneous charges. Rs 1,320 was paid to the truck driver, who transported the produce to APMC."

He claimed that after all the deductions, he is taking home only Re 1. He was informed that the prices of onion had plunged drastically that particular day.

"I was expecting at least Rs 3 per kg. However, I was disappointed after receiving such a deal," the farmer said.

"For four months, I took care of my produce and watered the onions at the time of load-shedding. Forget the profit, I am unable to recover even my expenditure on growing onions."

There were no comments on the farmer's claim from APMC.

Local media reports quoted the trader who bought the onion as saying that produce was of smaller size and inferior quality.

Meanwhile, a delegation of onion traders and APMC members from Lasalgaon in Nashik has met Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis seeking his intervention on the issue of plummeting prices of onions.

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