Onion growers in tears in Chikkamagaluru

An onion field damaged by the rains at Shivani in Ajjampura.

Heavy rain that lashed the plateau region in Chikkamagaluru, has taken away the hopes of farmers of fetching a good price for onion. Onion has begun to rot in the farmlands. 

The cost of onion had crossed Rs 50 per kg about 20 days ago. Farmers in Tarikere, Ajjampura, Shivani, Birur and Kadur were expecting bumper crops. However, all their dreams were shattered after the onion crop washed away in the flood. 

Onion is normally sown in the month of May/June and the harvest is ready by October/November. 

According to statistics available from the Horticulture Department, onion was sown on 5,300 hectares in Tarikere, 806 hectares in Kadur and 126 hectares in Chikkamagaluru. Over 1,300 hectares of the crop has been damaged in the rain. 

The onion that was harvested and kept on the field to be transported to the market has been washed away. The wet onions have begun to rot.  

A M Ravi from Anuvanahalli said, “About 35% of the crop has been washed away in the rain. The rain has damaged the fields as well. Owing to overflowing water bodies, we are unable to reach out to the field to get the crop into the courtyard for drying.” 

Raitha Sangha-Hasiru Sene state unit vice president M Mahesh said, “Owing to the delayed monsoon, farmers sowed late. Now, they have lost what they harvested. The onion rate has crashed in the last few days.” 

Speaking to DH, Horticulture Department Deputy Director Sanjay said, “A report on the crop loss will be submitted to the government. After conducting the survey, details will be uploaded on ‘Parihara’ software. The government will pay compensation as per NDRF guidelines.” 

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