Onion growers from North Karnataka blocked the gates of the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) here in protest against the “extremely low prices” they were offered for their produce.
Onion prices crashed as the APMC received a huge inflow of the produce from North Karnataka districts even as traders are yet to exhaust the stock they had procured from Maharashtra last year.
As the trading began on Saturday, onion prices varied between Rs 300 and Rs 1,100 per quintal depending on the quality of the produce. But as 150 truckloads of onion from Bailhongal, Vijayapura, Bagalkot and Dharwad arrived at the market a short while later, the prices nosedived to Rs 100-600 per quintal.
Angry farmers blocked the market gates in protest, but APMC secretary Srinivas assured them that the prices would be fixed as per the quality of the produce.
Farmers from Belagavi and the surrounding districts prefer the APMC here as they get good prices for their produce and the payment is made accurately.
The trading is carried out after the produce is weighed. This helps farmers calculate the amount they would get for their produce.
Chetan Patil, a trader, said he was yet to exhaust the stock he had procured from onion growers in Maharashtra during the previous season, and was hence unable to purchase the fresh produce from North Karnataka in the current season.
The onion from Maharashtra has a longer shelf life than the one from Karnataka, and traders can stock the produce in large quantity. But the onion from Karnataka is preferred for export, Patil said.