Karnataka's onion relief in tears

BANGALORE: The state government, which had resorted to market intervention to rescue the farmers following a steep fall in  onion prices in December 2011, sustained losses to the tune of

Published: 28th April 2012 03:12 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 07:48 PM   |  A+A-

BANGALORE: The state government, which had resorted to market intervention to rescue the farmers following a steep fall in  onion prices in December 2011, sustained losses to the tune of Rs 28 crore.

Speaking to Express, Agriculture Minister Umesh Katti said the state bought onion worth over Rs 30 crore from open market. This move helped stabilise the market and rescued the farmers.

“The government had realised Rs 2 crore as against spending of over Rs 30 crore on market intervention,” added Katti.

Blaming the Centre for the sharp fall in the price of onion, Katti said the unilateral decision of the Union Government to ban onion export led to the crisis for the farmers.

Katti added the state would take up the issue with Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar when an all-party delegation meets him in New Delhi. An all-party delegation led by Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda will meet  Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and other ministers on May 2 and 3.

According to official sources, the delegation would urge the Centre to share the loss sustained by the state government owing to market intervention.

It would also request the Centre to enhance MSP for Turgram to Rs 4,500 from the present Rs 3,100 per quintal, announce support price for green ginger, and enhance MSP for paddy.

The delegation might also submit a memorandum highlighting the problems faced by areca nut and pomegranate growers due to pest attack, the sources added.

Areca nut farmers in Chikmagalur, Dakshina Kannada, parts of North Kannada and Shimoga districts are facing the problem of yellow leave disease and demanded a relief package. The pomegranate growers in Koppal, Bagalokt, Bijapur and other districts also incurred huge revenue losses owing to the same problem.

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