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Share 50% onion cost: Harish urges Centre

Marketing and Irrigation Minister T Harish Rao today urged the Centre to share 50 per cent of cost to procure 53000 tons of onion from the farmers in the State.

In a letter addressed to Union Agriculture Minister Radhamohan Singh here on Friday, the minister apprised him of collapse in onion prices due to rise in production in various States. There is a need for extending a helping hand to onion farmers in crisis as they do not get minimum support price to their produce in the open market. The Telangana government intervened and pressed the marketing wing to procure 1.35 lakh quintals of onion produce from farmers of Jogulamba Gadwal district by paying about Rs 10.81 crore.

To help the farmers in crisis, the State government paid Rs 800 per quintal. Keeping their future in view, the Centre has to share 50 per cent of procurement cost,  Harish appealed. When the onion prices escalated to Rs 100 and beyond last year, the State government purchased kilo onion for Rs 50 and sold it to people for Rs 20 a kilo, he recalled. Due to heavy rains, some of onion farmers suffered crop loss due to heavy rains, he added. (NSS)