A representative of the onion growers said the government should immediately declare a grant of Rs 1,500 per quintal of onions and purchase their produce at Rs 15 to Rs 20 per kg, or else they will not let the auction resume at the Lasalgaon APMC, located in Nashik district
In the wake of a consistent drop in the onion prices, angry farmers stopped the auction of the key kitchen staple on Monday at Maharashtra's Lasalgaon Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC), Asia's biggest onion market.
The price per kilogram of onion came down to Rs 2 to Rs 4, which angered the growers.
A representative of the onion growers said the government should immediately declare a grant of Rs 1,500 per quintal of onions and purchase their produce at Rs 15 to Rs 20 per kg, or else they will not let the auction resume at the Lasalgaon APMC, located in Nashik district.
As soon as the auction process began as the market opened for the week on Monday, onions fetched a minimum price of Rs 200 per quintal, the maximum rate of Rs 800 per quintal and an average price of Rs 400-450 per quintal.
As a result, the angry farmers led by the Maharashtra Rajya Kanda Utpadak Sanghatana stopped the auction of onions and started an agitation.
On Saturday 2,404 quintal onions arrived at the APMC and the prices were Rs 351 minimum, Rs 1,231 maximum and Rs 625 average per quintal.
During the ongoing Budget Session of the state legislature, the government should immediately declare Rs 1,500 per quintal grant for onions and purchase the produce, being currently sold for Rs 3,4, 5 per kg, at a price of Rs 15 to Rs 20 per kg. If these two demands are not met today, onion auction at Lasalgaon APMC will not start at all, Maharashtra Rajya Kanda Utpadak Sanghatana leader Bharat Dighole said.
Meanwhile, according to APMC sources, the officials concerned were holding a meeting to resolve the issue.
The auction may start in the afternoon after a discussion with the agitators, they said.
Earlier this month, a farmer from Maharashtra's Solapur district had a rude shock when he got to know that he earned a profit of merely Rs 2.49 against the sale of his 512 kg onions to a trader in the district.
The farmer, 63-year-old Rajendra Chavan who resides in Barshi tehsil of Solapur, had said his onion yield fetched a price of Re 1 per kg at the Solapur market yard and after all the deductions he received this paltry sum as his net profit.
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