(Pics) Onion price: Traders pull strings, farmers/commoners suffer

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Bangalore, Oct 25: The biggest nightmares seems to have come true when it comes to the reason behind surging onion prices. A recent television report by a news channel get the actual picture from the horse's mouth-the farmers.

While politicians cry hoarse about the benefits that farmers get from rising prices, the actual story is shades darker. The farmers lie where they were, with absolutely no change in their position, while the traders association enjoy the fruit. Add to it, the crew of politicians who wash their hand too.

A report published by the Business Line on September 19, 2013 shows highlights the same. It defines distinctively how there is a network built between traders of different states and how they make calculated moves to control the prices. A look at the Competition Commission of India last year would make things clear.

Not just traders, other agents at play too

In 2010 too, the prices of Onions had touched the Rs 100 a Kg benchmark at retail outlets. An investigation by the Agricultural Development and the Rural Transformation Center in Bangalore amplified the function of Maharashtra and Karnataka wholesale traders who got information regarding pricing through agents and wholesellers operating within the market.

"The quantity and price of onion were decided over phone a day before the market opened," Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) said, further adding that a big traders and commission agents made the scenario grimmer.

Bidding in secrecy

'Secret bidding' is a term not unheard of. Here, traders and wholesellers study the market, even the export market, and fix rates accordingly. Then comes the bidding by sellers. And the most affected in the entire process are the farmers and the middle class.

Giving an instance, APMC quoted that a secret bidding process at Ahmednagar began at Rs 300 a quintal and it went till Rs 405 a quintal, while it was bought at minimal prices.

Farmers have no hands in deciding the rates

There are a number of factors that decide the pricing at the farmer level, which usually do not exceed beyond limits. Low farm size, unfavourable weather conditions price risk hold them back from charging inoxrbitant rates. Moreover, they refer to the local market rates, rather than rates of all markets, including the distant and the export like that of the traders. The latter puts the farmers at a greater loss.

In Navi Mumbai

A vendor sleeps on onions at a wholesale market in Navi Mumbai on Thursday.

In Karad

A labourer carryies a sack of Onions at a wholesale market in Karad,Maharashtra on Thursday.

In Jammu

A woman sorting onions at the wholesale vegetable market in Jammu on Thursday. The onion prices have soared to Rs.100 per kg in some parts of country.

Onion price: Traders pull strings, farmers/common man suffers

The biggest nightmares seems to have come true when it comes to the reason behind surging onion prices. A recent television report by a news channel get the actual picture from the horse's mouth-the farmers.

 

 

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