Farmers in parts of Nashik, known as onion hub of the State, have complained of onion rotting in storage facilities. However, traders said that the bulb crop was sufficiently available in the market and supply would not be affected.

Due to late sowing, farmers harvested the crop in April and May and stored it in Kanda chawls (storages) hoping to get a good rate. Many farmers bring out onions in the market during Diwali season. However, according to farmers, heavy rainfall and relatively high levels of humidity has acted as a spoiler for the staple crop.

Trader Jaydatta Holkar said that, as compared to last year, more farmers are bringing stored onion to the market due to rapid rotting. “The complaints of crops getting damaged are pouring from all parts of Nashik district. But this is not going to affect the supply and price of the crop. As of now, there are enough onions in the market,” he said.

Farmers demand relief

Farmers in Kalwan, Satana, Malegaon and other areas of Nashik have demanded compensation for the damaged crop from the government. Farmers’ organisation has demanded that the government must support the export of onion. Nashik onions are in demand in Dubai, Oman, Singapore, Malaysia and Sri Lanka.

Farmers have also demanded that the National Agricultural Co-operative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (Nafed) should procure more onions from Lasalgaon APMC.

Lasalgaon, which is India’s largest onion wholesale market, is getting good quantity of onion. The market that remained shut after an onion trader tested positive recently for Covid-19 started operations this week. Maharashtra has a 33 per cent share of India’s onion production; 80-90 per cent of the onion that comes to the Lasalgaon market is of export quality.

Expected hike in prices

Traders in Nashik feel that the relaxation in lockdowns and opening of restaurants would have an impact on the price and if the demand increases, prices might go up by ₹200 in the next few weeks.