Ravindra Madhikar, a whole seller of onions, is yet to get over the shock of earning only Rs 175 after selling 450kg of small onions in the Lasur wholesale market.
“I used to wonder why farmers take the drastic decision of ending their lives. But after Wednesday’s deal, I am also feeling suicidal,” said the onion producer in his early thirties from Gangapur taluka of Aurangabad district.
Lasur, which has one of the biggest wholesale markets of onions in Marathwada, is witnessing auction at throwaway prices of 50 paisa a kg, while the better quality produce is selling at Rs 500-600 per 100kg. In Lasalgaon, the country’s largest wholesale onion market in Nashik, the prices dipped to Rs 720 a quintal on Thursday from Rs 750 a quintal a day before due to the rise in supply.
Pralhad Galdhar from Paithan said many farmers do not have the capacity to stock their produce. Others said they spend between Rs 50,000 and Rs 80,000 per acre. “We have not been able to recover our expenses,” Madhikar said.
Many farmers, including those growing sugarcane, chose to grow onion because of the drought. The farmers’ leader Jayaji Suryawanshi said, “The government should buy from farmers through National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Fedration of India Limited.”
Harish Pawar, the government-appointed expert-director on Aurangabad district Agricultural Produce Market Committee said the mismatch between demand and supply has resulted in a great price drop.
BJP regional spokesperson Shirish Boralkar said the Centre had announced that it would purchase 15,000 tonnes of onion to help growers.
(News source: Times Of India)