More than 5,000 quintal of onions kept under the open sky at Bhopal mandiwas soaked due to strong spell of rain

More than 5,000 quintal of onions kept under the open sky at Bhopal mandiwas soaked due to strong spell of rain

BHOPAL,June23: More than 5,000 quintal of onions kept under the open sky at Bhopal mandiwas soaked due to strong spell of rain on June 21. Besides, onions loaded in large number of tractor trollies were also drenched. This year more than 32 lakh metric tonnes of onion was produced in Madhya Pradesh. With just 3.10 lakh metric tonne storage capacity of onion in the state, which is less than even 10 % of the total produce, huge quantity of onion is lying in the open across the state and is exposed to vagaries of nature.

Secretary of Bhopal mandi VP Pateria said, “We have placed onion sacks under the sheds ( opened from all four sides), and we have six such sheds allocated for the produce. Almost 5,000 quintal of onion is lying in open”. He said that Bhopal mandi has procured more than 85,000 quintals of onion and the money has been transferred through RTGS in the accounts of farmers.

On Wednesday, when rains lashed the city, farmers in over 500 tractors-trollies and trucks loaded with onion were waiting for their turn to get their produce procured. “When it started raining, entire onion was drenched. Those who had covered their produce with thick plastic sheets were also affected”, Ramkripal Sharma, a farmer from Bhadbhada, said. On Thursday, in the neighbouring Sehore mandi, about 1000 tractor-trollies and trucks loaded with onion were caught in the rain. Same was the situation in Raisen mandi. ” Not only the onion loaded on vehicles was soaked, even the sacks in the mandi were drenched”, Kishori Singh, a farmer from Ashtha in Sehore, told TOI .

So far, the state government has procured about 4 lakh metric tonnes of onion from farmers leading to a burden of Rs 320 crore on the state exchequer. Chairman of MP State Civil supplies Corporation Dr Hitesh Bajpai told TOI, “Of 4 lakh metric tonnes, 44,000 metric tonnes has been sold out in different districts at a rate of Rs 2 to 4 per kg, while 22,000 metric tonnes has been sent to fair price shops”.

 Highly-placed government sources said, “Last year, more than Rs 150 crore went down the drain due to rotting of onion. So far the government has not found any taker for onion in the country. This time the government will spend more amount to purchase the onion, which is destined to be doomed for lack of storage.”
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