Agri Business

And now, farmers want govt to intervene as onion prices crash

Radheshyam Jadhav Pune | Updated on January 29, 2020 Published on January 29, 2020

Onion traders and farmers have demanded that the government lift the stockholding limit on wholesale traders, which remains at 25 tonnes.   -  PTI

Call to lift ban on exports as Lasalgaon is flooded with fresh crop


The wholesale price of onion continues to fall in Lasalgaon, the country’s largest wholesale market for the bulb crop. With the arrival of 23,900 quintals of onion in Lasalgaon, price dropped to ₹2,680 on Wednesday.

Suvarna Jagtap, Chairperson of APMC, Lasalgaon, said that about 35,000 quintals of onion was coming to Lasalgaon and submarkets every day and price would go down further. She said farmers would suffer heavily if the Centre failed to intervene.

Plea to govt

“Lasalgaon is flooded with onion coming from the region and other parts. I have already alerted the State and Central governments on the need to change policies. If the situation prevails, I fear farmers will not be able to recover even the input costs,” Jagtap told BusinessLine.

In a letter to the local MP Bharati Pawar, Jagtap said Maharashtra has 33 per cent share in India’s onion production and 80-90 per cent onion that comes to the Lasalgaon market is of export quality. Last September, the government banned the export of onions to contain rising prices. The government had also imposed stock limits on traders.

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Jagtap demanded that the stock limit imposed on traders be lifted. Onion traders and farmers have demanded that the government lift the stockholding limit on wholesale traders, which remains at 25 tonnes. The Centre recently lifted the onion stockholding limits imposed on retail traders to 2 tonnes from 5 tonnes. There has been no change in the stockholding limits on wholesale traders.

Anil Ghanwat, president of Shetkari Sanghatana, the apex farmers’ body in Maharashtra, said that the Centre has to take quick steps to arrest further fall in onion prices. “Soon, onion might be sold at ₹2 per kg in the retail market. The Centre is testing the patience of onion farmers,” he said.

Farmers’ warning

Ghanwat said the government should not intervene in the market and allow it to function naturally. “The government must stop acting against the farmers. It should not decide policies for the market and leave farmers, traders and consumers alone. Despite the Centre’s interference, onion prices keep fluctuating and most of the time farmers are shortchanged,” he said.

The State Onion Producers Organisation has submitted memorandums to district officials across the State warning that the farmers would launch an agitation if the government failed to take pro-farmer steps.

Published on January 29, 2020
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