Lasalgaon Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) in Maharashtra, the country’s largest wholesale market, witnessed onion prices dropping to Re. 1 per kilogram.
On October 17, the price was Rs. 21.51 per kg and on December 24, the price was quoted at Re. 1 per kg, which shows a drop of 91 percent in two months.
Due to such low prices, farmers are having a hard time in even recovering their transport cost, let alone producing cost.
Last month, a farmer from Nashik, Sanjay Sathe, had sent Rs. 1,064, which he had earned after selling 750 kg of onions to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
“I produced 750 kg of onion in this season but was offered a rate of Rs 1 per kg at Niphad wholesale market last week. “Finally I could negotiate a deal for Rs 1.40 per kg and received Rs 1,064 for 750 kg. It was painful to see such paltry returns on four months of toil. Hence I have donated Rs 1,064 to Disaster Relief Fund of the PMO as a protest. I had to pay additional Rs 54 for sending it by money order,” Sathe told news agency PTI.
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“I do not represent any political party. But I am angry because of the government’s apathy towards our woes,” he added.
In another such instance, after spending nearly Rs. 2 lakh for the onion crop this year, Shreyas Abhale, a farmer from Maharashtra earned only Rs. 6 in return for his produce.
In order to mark his protest, he sent the paltry amount to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
“I earned ₹2,916 when I brought 2,657 kg of onion to Sangamner wholesale market. After making payment of labour charges and transportation charges at ₹2,910, I was left with just ₹6. I do not know how I am going to clear my dues,” Abhale told news agency PTI.
Low rates of onion in the market is a matter of grave seriousness for farmers in the state and the government should step in to address their crisis.