Gadag's onions come full circle as rotting stock turns manure

Gadag's onions come full circle as rotting stock turns manure

Tonnes of unsold onions are rotting on the premises of the APMC and the Cotton Sale Society here. The district administration is sending the onions back to the farms, so that they can be used as manure.

The district administration had purchased the onions from the farmers at Rs 624 a quintal under the support price scheme. A whopping 3.8 lakh quintals of the vegetable was procured between November 4 and December 7 last year. Of this, 75% has been sold to the APMC traders by the district administration at Rs 175 to Rs 225 a quintal. A portion of the stock was sold through the small retail outlets.

What remains are the smaller variety and the sprouted lot (around 70,000 quintals), which are not preferred by the traders. The onions are rotting due to moisture and the rain in December.

Fakirappa Hosamani and Kumar Sugganahalli, farmers from Petalur village, said they had taken away 40 tractor loads of rotting onion in the last 15 days for use as natural manure in their fields. They expect a good crop if there are good rains after six or seven months.

Gadag tops in onion cultivation, with a 40% increase in area under cultivation (10,562 hectares) in the last decade, from 26,665 hectares. This year has seen a record harvest, despite the drought. The district administration has suffered losses of Rs 7 crore to Rs 8 crore, after buying the produce under the support price scheme.

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