Gujarat govt announces financial aid of Rs 330 crore for potato and onion farmers after protest

The Congress Kisan Cell leader Pal Ambliya described the government's assistance as a cruel joke played on farmers in the name of assistance.

Published: 07th March 2023 06:45 PM  |   Last Updated: 07th March 2023 06:45 PM   |  A+A-


For representational purposes (Photo | EPS)

Express News Service

AHMEDABAD: Due to the low pricing of onions and potatoes, farmers in Gujarat have long protested against the government. In various regions of the state, there have even been instances of farmers feeding onions and potatoes to animals. The administration made an announcement On Tuesday about financial aid in the form of freight and export subsidies, price differentials, and storage subsidies for sale within the State.

The State Assembly was informed of these relief measures on Tuesday by State Agricultural Minister Raghavji Patel.

Announcing the relief measures Agricultural Minister Said “It was feared that throughout the upcoming season, prices might drop much further. So, as a preventative measure, the government has chosen to give these farmers financial aid,”

“Because the market price of potatoes is low due to overproduction, the state government has received several representations for financial assistance.” He added

Each farmer will receive a price differential of Rs 2 per kg (or Rs  200 per quintal) for onion production (red onion variety), up to a maximum of 250 quintals.

This support will cost the State 70 crore. In the case of potato producers, each farmer will receive up to 300 quintals of cold storage assistance at a rate of Rs 1 per kilogramme or Rs 100 per quintal. Under this programme, the State has set aside 200 crores of rupees, valid through March 31, 2023.

In addition, the State has provided freight subsidies for onion and potato growers at a rate of 750 rupees per tonne for road transport for sale outside Gujarat and Rs 1,150 per tonne, or 100% of the total transport cost, whichever is less.

Also, the State has provided a 25% freight cost subsidy for potatoes and onions with a cap of Rs 10 lahks per farmer in an effort to promote exports outside of India. Under the potato and onion projects, there is an allocation of Rs 20 crores each.

Also, for those growers of potatoes who sell within Gujarat, a price differential of Rs 1 per kilogramme or Rs 100 per quintal will be offered for up to 300 quintals per farmer. For this as well, a provision of Rs 20 crores is created.

Importantly, the low prices of potatoes and onions in the yards of the agricultural produce market committee (APMC) have caused state farmers to cry.

In Gujarat, market yard potato prices range from Rs 3 to Rs 10 per kg, depending on quality. At several market yards, onions sell for between Rs 6 and Rs 9 per kg. Farmers reported that potato prices ranged from Rs 4 to Rs 15. Costs last year ranged from Rs 10 to Rs 20.

The Congress Kisan Cell leader Pal Ambliya described the government's assistance as a cruel joke played on farmers in the name of assistance.

“The government has provided a one-rupee-per-kg subsidy in potato, even if transportation costs are not covered; for the last three years, onion farmers have suffered losses; and the central government's import and export policy is detrimental to farmers.”

The Gujarat government Also ordered a survey on crop loss caused due to unseasonal rains in the state.


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