Farmers threatened to cease sending onions to APMC unless they get ₹25 per kg.
Farmers in Maharashtra, led by the State Onion Growers’ Association, have threatened to cease sending onions to the agricultural produce marketing committee (APMC) yards on August 16 unless they receive an average price of ₹25 per kg.
Bharat Dighole, President of the Maharashtra State Onion Producers’ Association, said in a statement on Monday: ‘For the past 7-8 months, onion growers have received a meagre payment for their produce and have sustained tremendous losses.’ The Union and state governments have mostly overlooked the plight of onion farmers. Instead, they’ve taken initiatives to reduce onion prices.’
Growers claim that the Centre’s policy of controlling onion prices by prohibiting exports, importing onions, raiding onion sellers, and limiting storage has damaged farmers.
Having no effect?
‘Right now, farmers are selling at rock-bottom prices, unable to even recoup their production costs.’ MLAs, MPs, and Ministers have done no tangible actions to assist farmers. As a result, farmers are agitated. From August 16, farmers must receive an average of ₹25 per kg at APMC auctions, or Maharashtra onion farmers would stop selling their produce at APMC auctions indefinitely,’ Dighole stated.
Growers claim that several farmer organizations have been campaigning for months as onion prices have fallen, but their requests have not even been considered.
Farmers claimed that the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) purchased 2.5 lakh tonnes of onion at a price of ₹10-12 per kg. The cost of production is ₹20-22 per kg, and farmers are presently selling for ₹8-10 per kg.
Farmers claim that a large amount of produce held in chawls in April and May has decayed due to weather conditions, and they are unable to take their produce to market due to the low rate.
‘Because Maharashtra is the major producer of onions, the government will face criticism if farmers cease delivering them to market. We don’t have any other choice but to bring the government’s attention to our predicament,’ Dighole explained.