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We Will Buy Every Single Onion, Says Shivraj Singh Chouhan
Onion is the major crop of this season that was showered by the blessings of fertility and over production took place than expected. Technically an economist may call it an overproduced agricultural commodity
Photo Credit : Bivash Banerjee
Provincial governments in their desperate measures to lure farmers are taking extreme steps, few expected and much unexpected. Following the same line, Madhya Pradesh government had taken few extremely strange steps that will set another benchmark, difficult to reach further.
Onion is the major crop of this season that was showered by the blessings of fertility and over production took place than expected. Technically an economist may call it an overproduced agricultural commodity.
In a case of Madhya Pradesh where farmers agitation took a very violent turn last week, the state government as committed to farmers’, is buying these onions at higher rates and making it the first ever vegetable to be sold via public distribution mechanism of ration controls.
MP government is selling these onions at just Rs 2 per kg from Public Distribution System (PDS). Even though the Mandi rates are speaking a different tune.
While onion is known to be the highest consumed vegetable of the world. This relation of highest consumption can be risky at times, it is consumed more and farmers will grow it more in expectation of its consumption. MP government is facing regular challenges in purchases and procurement of onions.
The farmers’ agitation of MP that had already witnessed several suicides by farmers’ along with deaths of farmers in clashes, had one demand among several others of higher purchase prices for onions.
Shivraj Singh Chauhan, Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Government would not had thought of the outcomes of Ujjain meeting with farmers’ delegates earlier this month. Otherwise, he would not have accepted most of their demands. Later on, the violent protests let him raise the purchase prices of onions twice in few days’ time-span.
Glancing at current Mandi rates shared in the table above will make us realise the issue with MP government. On the Ration Control of PDS, the card holders with above poverty line (APL) cards are also allowed to purchase onions in Rs 2 per kg up to 50 kg per card. Till last reports state government had already purchased 2.75 lakh metric tonne of onions from farmers.
In a late evening address to farmers of MP, the Chief Minister said: “Dear brothers’ and sisters of the farming community of the state, I am yours and my government is yours. Government had always put you first. It is the only state government of the nation which is buying onions in Rs 8 per kg.”
“Our state had witnessed a bumper production of onion. Our purchase centres are witnessing onions everywhere from every corner, so much so that there are piles of onions everywhere.”
He continued, “I know that transportation is a big challenge for us, but why do you all worry? I assure you on my personal behalf that onion will be bought from every single farmer. I request you to keep patience, those farmers who did not get token will get them soon."
"I assure that every single onion will be purchased, though I will keep a watch on opportunist elements. There is a large gap of Rs 2000 or more from Market in Moong pulse, but I assure you state will purchase it from you and other pulses like Urad, along with Tur, all I ask you to keep patience. I request you to bring filtered pulses to avoid issues in purchase centres," concluded Chauhan.