Onions must be making many, especially the poor people, cry a lot and draining even the last penny out of the pocket. But there are also some are laughing on the spiralling prices of onions.
A Karnataka farmer Mallikarjuna is one of these fortunate few. The high prices have turned his fortunes suddenly and made him a crorepati. A farmer in Doddasiddavvanahalli in Chitradurga district of Karnataka had a bumper crop and was able to repay his debts, according to the media reports.
The 42-year-old debt-ridden farmer paid a big gamble. He took the loan again to sow onions. He knew that it would further crash him, if he gets a bad crop or even bad prices. But lady luck smiled at him. But he won the gamble as the prices shot up. He was able to repay all his loans.
“I would have got caught in a bad debt if the crop had failed or the prices had crashed. But onions have changed the fortunes of my family now,” Mallikarjuna told the media.
He reaped a bumper crop of 240 tonnes of onion (around 20 truckloads) while the price is quoting over Rs 100 per kg. The farmer invested Rs 15 lakh, expecting a profit between Rs 5-10 lakh. But he hit a jackpot. Mallikarjuna is now a celebrity in the farming circles in Chitradurga, 200km from Bengaluru.
“I have cleared my debt and I am planning to build a house. I want to buy more land to expand the agricultural work,” the publication quoted Mallikarjuna as saying.
Mallikarjuna, who owns 10 acres of land, took another 10 acres on lease to grow onions. He also hired around 50 labourers. Since 2004, Mallikarjuna has been growing onions in rainy season. His profit last year was around Rs 5 lakh. Mallikarjuna availed a loan of Rs 20 lakh to lease out additional land and pay for expenses this year.
“Unfortunately, I incurred huge losses. But I took another loan of Rs 5 lakh and used my savings to grow onion,” Mallikarjuna said.
Mallikarjuna and his family take turns to guard the crop from onion thieves.