MUMBAI: A farmer from Solapur in Maharashtra managed to earn a meagre Rs 13 after selling 1,123 kilograms of onions, despite winter tending to spike prices of the kitchen staple, leading to a state farm leader declaring such a situation was unacceptable, while a commission agent claimed the low price was due to the consignment's poor quality.
The sale receipt provided by a Solapur based commission agent showed farmer Bappu Kavade sent 1,123 kgs of onion to the market and earned Rs 1,665. 50, with his expenses, including labour cost, weighing charges and transportation from the farm to the commission agent's shop but excluding cost of production, being Rs 1,651.98.
This meant he earned just Rs 13 from the sale.
Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana leader and former Lok Sabha MP Raju Shetti, who tweeted the sale receipt of Kavade, said, "What should one do with this meagre Rs 13? This is unacceptable. The farmer supplied 24 bags of onion from his farm to commission agent's shop. And he earned only Rs 13 from it."
"How will he repay the production cost, which includes preparation of soil for cultivation, procurement of onion seed, fertiliser and harvesting charges? If onion prices had skyrocketed, the Union government would have imported the produce from other countries on war footing.
However, now that the prices have crashed, government will ignore the farmer's plight, Shetti alleged.
Kavade earned enough to pay the transportation cost of Rs 1,512 to the service provider or else would have ended up paying this amount from his own pocket, Shetti further said.
Commissioner agent Rudresh Patil, who procured the onions from Kavade, said.
"I did buy onions at such a low rate, but it is mainly because of the poor quality of the produce. The onion was wet and damaged due to unseasonal rains in last few days, which is why it attracted such a low rate."
Patil said good quality onions are fetching robust prices in the market due, and termed Kavade's case as "unfortunate and exceptional".
Kavade could not be contacted for comments.