Pune: Taking into account the interest of onion growers and consumers in Maharashtra, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar has written a letter to the Union Minister of Consumer Affairs and Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan asking to increase the procurement limit of onion to 50,000 metric tonnes.
The procurement of onion in the State has started from April 30 which is done by National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED), and the procurement limit is given to NAFED by Centre for this year is 40,000 MT.
Pawar has written a letter to Union Minister in this regard, drawing the attention towards onion growers and consumers in Maharashtra. The letter mentioned that Maharashtra has a good production of onions this year and onion is now widely available in the agricultural produce market. However, there is not much demand due to the lockdown.
It further states that due to the favourable environment, onion production will also increase during the Rabi season. It is feared that onion prices will fall after it hits the market and farmers will suffer. If the price of onion, which is currently Rs 8-10 per kg in the agricultural market, falls further, farmers could suffer huge losses. That needs to be avoided. While welcoming the central government's decision to procure onions through NAFED, he said it was unjust to reduce last year's limit of 45,000 MT to 40,000 MT this year and had asked to increase the limit to 50,000 MT.
Last year, the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs and Food and Public Distribution had procured 45,000 MT of onions from Maharashtra through NAFED under the 'Price Stabilisation Fund' scheme. That buffer stock enabled the government to make onions available to consumers at cheaper rates in November and December. Against this backdrop, the Central Government should increase the limit of 40,000 MT for onion procurement through NAFED to 50,000 MT this year and provide relief to farmers and consumers in Maharashtra.