Mallikarjuna, a farmer from Doddasiddavvanahalli in Chitradurga district of Karnataka has become a crorepati in a month’s time. The farmer, who had now become a celebrity in farming circles reaped a bumper harvest of onions. He describes planting onions as the biggest risk in his life.
Mallikajuna had invested Rs 15 lakh and was expecting a profit of around 5-10 lakh when he hit the Jackpot. The debt-ridden farmer reaped a harvest of 240 tonnes of onions which is around 20 truckloads while the onion prices have risen above Rs 200 per kg in many parts of southern India.
The 42-year-old farmer sowed onion seeds after taking a loan. He owns 10 acres of land and took 10 more acres on lease. He also hired 50 labourers to grow onions. While speaking to national media he said that he would have got caught in a bad debt if the crop had failed or prices had crashed but the onions changed the fortunes of his family. He further said that with the profit earned, he has cleared his debt is and is planning to build a house. He also wishes to buy more land and expand agriculture work in the coming years.
The farmer’s journey has not been a smooth ride. The period until October was stressful as the onion prices remained low. Mallikajuna said that when he sold the crop in the first week of November the prices were around Rs 7,000 per quintal but within a few days, it touched Rs12,000 per quintal. Mallik and his family members take turns to guard the harvest from onion thieves. Describing the conditions of farmers he said that water is scarce in the area and everything is dependent on groundwater. Many farmers have given up farming because of the prevailing drought-like situation.