Surplus onion in markets has led to low uptake in the export as well as domestic markets, leading to a dip in wholesale prices.
On December 20, in view of the drastic drop in onion prices, the state had announced a package, which would entitle the farmer for a subsidy of Rs 200 per quintal of onion sold. Farmers who had sold their onion between November 1 and December 15 were eligible for it with individual quantity being capped at 200 quintals.
Average prices in the wholesale markets of Nashik, the largest onion growing district in the state, was between Rs 600 and Rs 700 per quintal.
Barely a month has passed since the announcement of the subsidy, and a fresh crisis has again hit the onion trade with prices going down further. On Friday, the average traded value of the bulb at Lasalgaon wholesale market in Nashik was Rs 580 per quintal with the market reporting arrival of 22,828 quintals of onions. Similar prices have seen reported from other markets in region.
The fresh crisis, Jaydutt Holkar, chairman of Lasalgaon market, said was the failure of the market to absorb the large arrivals. “Kharif and late kharif arrivals have happened at the same time. Old rabi stock still remains, pulling down the wholesale prices.” Exports, Holkar admitted, had failed to ensure better prices for the farmers.
Of the three crops for the current onion year (20118-19), only a part of the rabi crop (sown in December-January and harvested in March-May) in April had fetched handsome returns. Chances of both kharif (sown in June-August and harvested October) and late kharif (sown in October- November and harvested January-February) crops fetching a good price appear dim.