Updated: December 5, 2021 11:11:39 am
HEAVY RAIN over the last few days has damaged both the market-ready late kharif crop and the nursery plantation of upcoming rabi crop in Nashik. This will push up onion prices in the days to come and there isn’t much chance of prices cooling down in the near future, say market sources.
Since the last few days, Konkan, Pune, Nashik and other parts of the state have reported heavy to very heavy rain. The state as a whole has reported significantly higher than normal rainfall, with Pune, Konkan and Nashik divisions receiving maximum rainfall.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has also predicted rain for the next few days as the cyclonic disturbance over North East Arabian Sea continues to be active.
According to preliminary data collected by the Agriculture Department, crop over 77,114 hectares has been hit due to the rain. Nashik has reported the maximum damage, with crops and orchards over 35,093 hectares being affected. Talukas of Satana, Niphad, Sinnar, Peth, Tryambak, Malegaon, Dindori and Igatpuri have reported serious damage due to the unseasonal rain.
Farmers say both their market-ready late kharif and nursery plantation of rabi crop have been hit. Of the three crops of onions that farmers take, sowing for late kharif commences during September-October and the same is harvested in December. Rabi or summer crop is sown post December and harvested post March.
Rabi is the only onion crop which is amenable for storage due to lower moisture content. Rohit Dube, a farmer from Kopargaon taluka in Ahmednagar district, said due to the high moisture content and cloudy skies, the late kharif crop would become an easy target for fungal attack.
“In many areas in Ahmednagar and Nashik, the nursery plantation for rabi onion has been completely washed out, and farmers are starting from scratch again,” he said.
Dube, who is also a director of the Hoy Ami Shetkari Foundation — a state-wide network of farmers — said the present rain would surely affect the availability of onions in the new year. “Farmers will not have enough stock to bring to the market,” he said.
Currently, in most wholesale markets in Nashik district, the average traded price of onions is between Rs 2,000 and 2,500 per quintal, which will rise once the impact of supply constraints is felt.
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