Agri Business

Onion export ban: Farmer bodies in Maharashtra threaten to disrupt APMCs

Our Bureau Pune October 2 | Updated on October 02, 2019 Published on October 02, 2019

Farmers’ organisations have threatened to disrupt the functioning of Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMC) in Maharashtra if the Centre sticks to its stand of prohibiting onion exports and imposing limits on stocks.

Farmers in the onion hub of Nashik said that they would agitate against the government’s decision as farmers are facing the brunt.

With onion prices rising, the government had on Sunday prohibited exports until further notice and imposed limits on stocks that can be held, to prevent hoarding. As farmers across India have opposed the decision, their counterparts in Maharashtra have taken an aggressive stand.

After a series of meetings at Nashik, farmer leaders said that they would not allow APMCs to function from next week if the Centre did not revoke its decision. The Nashik District Market Committee Association members who met on Tuesday warned the government that angry farmers would react to the situation and the government would be responsible for the consequences.

Farmer leader Santu Patil said growers, who are already facing a major crisis due to water scarcity, would be severely hit by the government’s decision. He said that the government had no right to prevent farmers from selling their produce and earning a profit.

The State government, meanwhile, has estimated Maharashtra’s Kharif (2019-20) onion output at 5.46 lakh tonnes over 0.42 lakh hectares. Last year onion was cultivated on 0.96 lakh hectares.

Cultivation affected

The availability of onion in the market is lower because of the late monsoon affecting cultivation.

A statement issued by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’ office added: “Compared to total production of onion in the State, almost 70-80 per cent has been sold while farmers and traders in the State are likely to have 10-15 lakh tonnes of onion”.

Meanwhile, onion has already become an election issue in the State. Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) President Sharad Pawar, speaking in Islampur city, said that the government’s decision was ‘anti-farmer’ and the it was averse of giving farmers any market benefit.

Published on October 02, 2019
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