Onion continues to haunt people in India in some way or the other. A farmer from Karanjgaon village in Nashik district has claimed to have got the rate of 5 paise per kg for onions, prompting him to dump his produce of 13 quintals in his field in protest.
The farmer, Sudhakar Darade, said his onions got valued at Rs 5 per quintal (100 kg) at Saikheda Sub-Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) on August 23. He said his entire produce of 13 quintals was offered a rate of Rs 65 in total. The distressed farmer said he incurred more than Rs 700 per acre for cultivating onions and paid Rs 780 towards transportation charges for bringing the produce to the APMC. Upset over the valuation, Darade returned home and threw 13 quintal of onion in his field.
Nashik district is known for production of red onions. The onion market in Lasalgaon in district is Asia’s largest wholesale APMC for onions.
“I had cultivated onions on my 10-acre land in November- December last year. I stored around 1,000 quintals of onions at home, hoping that I will get good price in April. However, auctioning of onions got severely affected due to the 35-day strike at APMCs in district during June-July, as a result of which onions perished,” he said.
However, traders at APMC said that condition of onions brought by Darade was bad and their size was small. “Onions are currently auctioned at Rs 600-700 per quintal in APMCs, but farmers are bringing wet onion stock. On Tuesday, one farmer (Darade) brought onions for auction at Saikheda. However, most of his produce was wet and rotten. Still, some of his good quality onions were valued at Rs 25 per quintal, but wet and perished onions were valued at Rs 5 per quintal or 5 paise per kg,” said Suresh Kamankar, an onion trader.
The Logical Indian expresses its concern for Darade and many more like him, who, in absence of security cover, are forced into distress sale of their crops. Timely announcement of Minimum Support Price (MSP) and assured procurement from farmers, as is done in case of wheat and rice, can go a long way in fulfilling the promises the establishment gives them. The government is requested to lend an ear to cries of our farmers.