Bhubaneswar: With onion prices touching Rs 45 per kg in retail markets, the Odisha government today decided to launch Onion Mission and provide easy loans and high yielding seeds to farmers.
Though Odisha produces 3.95 lakh metric tons of onions every year against its requirement of 2.97 lakh metric tons, agriculture minister Pradeep Kumar Maharathy said people face shortage as farmers sell their produce to traders due to lack of cold storages.
Stating that the Odisha onions were being procured by traders from Chhattishgarh and Madhya Pradesh, Mr Maharathy said steps would be taken through the Mission to create cold storages for farmers. As many as 300 cold storages were required to keep onions within the state.
Mr Maharathy said officials engaged in market intelligence have been asked to keep a vigil on the hoarding of onion and potato and also informed that the potato procurement rate has slowed down due to the floods in West Bengal.
In the meantime, the state cooperation department has taken a decision to set up additional ten cold storages through Regional Cooperative Marketing Societies (RCMS).
Onion, which was selling at Rs 20 per kg barely a week ago, had spiralled to Rs 40 a kg now.