Odisha to open cold storage for onions

Bhubaneswar, Aug 3 (IANS) The Odisha government will set up 300 cold storages in a bid to bring down the steep prices of onions, Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy said on Monday.

He said the cold storages across the state will help preserve about 25 lakh tonnes of onions.

Entrepreneurs will get 50 percent subsidy to set up onion storage facility. Simultaneously, subsidized seeds will be provided to farmers, the minister said.

The onion price has touched Rs.45 a kg in Odisha’s retail market. The government has told retailers not to earn more than Rs.4 as profit on each kilogram.

Odisha produces 3.95 lakh tonnes of onion annually while the consumption is 2.97 lakh tonnes.

Though the consumption is lower than production, lack of adequate cold storage in the state has forced the farmers to go for distress sale and it often leads to a crisis.

“Due to unavailability of adequate cold storage, the farmers are selling onion to traders in Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh,” said minister Maharathy.

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