PUNE: The wholesale price of onions, which was soaring at Rs 4,000 to 5,000 per quintal a week ago, saw a sharp decline to Rs 3,000 per quintal on Friday at Lasalgaon and Pune Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMCs).
However, farmer groups have given a declaration notice to tehsildars and threatened to stop auction of onions in the APMCs in Nashik district, if the export ban and stock limit were not removed by October 5.
Suvarna Jagtap, Chairperson, Lasalgaon APMC, said, “The wholesale price of onions at Lasalgaon APMC was Rs 3,000 per quintal, which saw a sharp decline in the past week.”
“The supply of onion has also reduced by 40 to 50 per cent as farmers did not bring their produce to market. Even if they had brought it, it was inadequate quantity due to the limits imposed on stocking,” Jagtap said.
“The limit imposed on stocking had a greater impact on farmers and traders, who have the limit of buying and stocking 2,000 quintals. They can only keep 500 quintals at a time,” added Jagtap.
On Sunday, the Central government banned export of onions in a bid to tame the increasing retail price of onions since July. It has also imposed stock limits on wholesale onion traders to prevent hoarding.
Rajendra Dhokhale, farmer-leader and Agriculture Produce Market Committee Lasalgaon Director said, “We have submitted a petition to the tehsildar and district collector of Nashik stating that if the Central government’s decision of imposing ban on export and limits on stocking is not removed by October 5, we won’t allow auction in Nashik APMCs.”
“More than ban on export, it is the limit on stocking that has impacted farmers. It is an anti-farmer decision and impacting onion growers,” added Dhokhale.
Santu Patil, Sharad Joshi of Shetkari Sanghtana, Nashik district said, “This decision of the Central government has adversely impacted onion growers, who are not getting good rates. For onion growers, September and October are the months when they get good rates. The government has hit us badly with this decision. If the government does not change the decision by October 5, auction at APMCs will be stopped.”
200 TRUCKS TO BANGLADESH
The Union government allowed 200 trucks laden with 5,000 tonnes of onions to cross the border and enter Bangladesh. These trucks left Nashik with the consignment and were on their way to Bangladesh before the Union government issued the notification banning export on September 29.