Known for its high-quality potatoes and onions, Gujarat districts Banaskantha, Sabarkantha, Aravalli, Gandhinagar, Mehsana, Anand, and Kheda are facing a strange problem. While the harvested crop been enormous in terms of yield, the quality is suspect. This leaves the producers with no option but to sell off the bulk, even if at abysmally low prices. Storage is not an option and neither is trying luck elsewhere because the entire consignment faces risk of spoilage in the advancing time.
Telling the tale of the twin trouble for potato and onion growers in the state, is the image of a bill now viral on social media.
Farmer Jamanbhai Madhani of Dhutarpur village (Kalavd) reached Rajkot with 472 kg of onions. The hiring of a truck to ferry the load cost him Rs 626. On reaching Rajkot, he was paid Rs 495 rupees for 472 kg onions!! Why?
The farmer’s video clip tells the sorry tale, which ends with being told that the “onion quality was poor.”
Nearly 40.26 lakh metric tonnes of potato were harvested this year. According to state spokesperson Rishikesh Patel, “the government is aware of the situation and is trying to bail out the farmers.” Potato crops are planted between October to December. November is considered the main growing period.
Gujarat is also faced with the challenges of storage. The capacity has been capped at 28.56 lakh metric tons with 27.23 lakh metric tonnes already sitting in storage.