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, even as a trader blamed “poor quality” of bulb for the low price. Sudhakar Darade, who hails from Niphad taluka, said his onions got valued at Rs 5 per quintal (100 kg) at Saikheda sub-agriculture produce market committee (APMC) on Tuesday.
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, sources 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.
Meanwhile, protesting against the low price of onions, Nashik unit of NCP yesterday dumped onions on the premises of all taluka offices in the district, demanding the Minimum Support Price (MSP) at Rs 2,000 per quintal. “Onions are being sold at APMCs at Rs 600-700 per quintal. However, farmers are in distress as they could not recover even the production cost,” said Nashik district NCP president Ravindra Pagar.