Did Media Turn a Blind Eye to Onion Farmers?
About a month ago, media published several programmes on rising onion prices titled ‘Ulli Ghatu’, ‘Koyyakundaane kanneellu pettisthunna ulli’, ‘ulli bomb’ etc. showing all their poetic skills. They made government sell onions at lower prices (subsidy is ofcourse a burden on public). Civil supplies and onion traders earned crores of rupees under onion rates. When prices were hiked, onion framers had no crop. Once onion stock reached from farmers to traders, prices went too high. So, this shows that price hike was of no benefit to farmers. Let us see the present scenario.
Farmers have onion crop now. Till a few days ago, one kg onions were sold at Rs.40, Rs. 50 or even more. Do you know what price onions are bought from farmers for? Rs. 30? No.. Rs. 20? No..Atleast Rs.10? No! The answer is just Rs.3/-. Farmers who were glad on seeing onion prices last month will break down into tears on knowing their price now. Tears come not from the eyes but from the heart. They are the tears of blood! And our media is not concerned at all!
We are not saying that media reacting when traders were facing trouble is wrong. But the very same media not being bothered when farmers are at loss is what we are calling wrong. Did Media Turn a Blind Eye to Onion Farmers? If discussion was conducted on what prices farmers got on onions when 1 kg of them were priced at Rs.40 in market, people would have come to know the flaws in our marketing system. But media focused solely on hiked rates. This benefitted only traders. Neither farmers nor public who buy onions gained anything.
Media that discusses what should be done to stop suicides of farmers should also conduct discussion on how to make farmers live. If media really has love for farmers, discussion should be held at this point of time. It should make government aware of the suffering of onion farmers. Not after farmers incur loss, drown in debts or after they put an end to their lives. It is now that media and cameras should make a move. Each year, many farmers who cultivate onions, tomatoes, potatoes etc. suffer the same way. It is high time that media, public and political parties start a movement to put an end to the suffering of farmers and help make agriculture fruitful.