BENGALURU: Tomato and onion growers are a worried lot as the bumper harvest has led to a crash in prices in the state.
The Kolar district fruits and vegetable growers struggle committee has demanded the government announce a minimum support price for onion and tomato growers to safeguard the interests of farmers.
According to sources in the Yeshwanthpur Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) Yard here, onion prices had dropped to somewhere between Rs 2 per kg and Rs 10, a few days ago.
However, it has now stabilised in the range of Rs 12 to Rs 18 per kg depending on the quality of the produce.
"Even Rs 12 a kg is a pittance for all our hardship. A decent amount goes in transportation, loading and unloading and investment made on growing the crop," an onion grower in Bengaluru rued.
People bringing their produce from far-flung areas with a hope of getting a good price were a disappointed lot.
Farmer Pavadeppa Hallikeri from Thimmapura in Gadag district in North Karnataka got a good onion harvest and instead of selling it at the Gadag APMC Yard, he decided to sell it in Bengaluru.
On reaching Bengaluru market with 205 kg of onions on November 22, he got to know that the price crashed in the city to Rs two per kg.
Thus, he got Rs 410 and he had to pay Rs 401.64 as the unloading charges.
He got only Rs 8.36 in hand, and a photo image of his bills has now gone viral in social media.
"It was a mistake to grow onions and take it to Bengaluru for good return," the onion grower told reporters.
Hallikeri said for farmers from his region it was double whammy --- there were floods in the region and the price crash.
The woes of tomato producers from South Karnataka are no different from onion growers from north Karnataka.
According to Manjunath, a wholesale vegetable dealer in KR Market here, tomatoes are being sold from Rs 5 to Rs six per kg in the wholesale market while in retail, the prices are between Rs 8 and Rs 12 per kg.
The Kolar district fruits and vegetable growers struggle committee president Neelaturu Chinnappa Reddy has demanded that the government announce minimum support price for onions, potatoes and tomatoes.
"We vegetable growers are in tears. For all the hard work, labour, investment and months of waiting, we are hardly getting a return of Rs 1.5 for each kilogram of tomatoes these days. For two quintals of tomatoes grown, we are getting only Rs 300," Reddy told PTI.