Taking cognisance of an onion grower’s act of sending his earnings to the Prime Minister after getting paltry returns for his produce, the Centre has sought a detailed report on the matter from the Maharashtra government, an official said Tuesday. Sanjay Sathe, a farmer from Niphad tehsil in Nashik district, had claimed on Sunday that he fetched only Rs 1,064 for his produce of 750 kg onion this season.
In protest, the farmer said, he had sent a money order addressed to “Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India” of Rs 1,064 to the PMO’s Disaster Relief Fund on November 29. “We have been asked by the state government on behalf of the Centre to submit a detailed report about onion production in the region and the actual condition of the farmer who sent the money order.
“At present, the onion production has increased for sure in Nashik region. We have mentioned all these facts in the report and submitted it to the state government. We will wait for further instructions,” Nashik’s Acting Resident Collector Shashikant Mangrule told PTI.
Sathe said he was hopeful that the Centre will take some action for the benefit of all onion growers in the region. “My act of sending the money order was merely to express the frustration and plight of my (farming) community,” the cultivator said. Nashik district in north Maharashtra accounts for 50 per cent of onion production in India.
Sathe, who was among the handful of ‘progressive farmers’ selected by the Union Agriculture Ministry for an interaction with then US president Barack Obama, when he visited India in 2010, had said on Sunday that he does not represent any political party, but was angry because of the government’s “apathy” towards the farmer’s woes.