Farmers protest as onion prices soar

Farmers protest as onion prices soar

Onion prices soared to a two weeks’ high on Wednesday even as farmers’ agitation affected the supply in Nashik district, the biggest onion market of Asia. 

Meanwhile, former Union agriculture minister and NCP founder Sharad Pawar has slammed the Narendra Modi government for its policies on the agriculture sector.

The onion prices at  Lasalgoan market, the biggest spot onion selling market of Asia, touched Rs 37.29 per kg as the supply dipped to the year’s low to 137 tonnes.

“Many small groups of farmers have joined hands to start protesting the holding limit and the export ban. We are also supporting it. We demand the government to withdraw both,” said Hansraj Wadghule, a local leader of Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana.

“The supply situation has changed quite to an extent. There is very little onion left with farmers from the previous harvesting season. Excess rainfall and an extended monsoon have led to massive crop damage,” said Jaydatta Holkar, chairman, Agricultural Produced Market Committee (APMC), Lasalgaon.

Pawar, while addressing a rally at Akola, accused the BJP-led Central and Maharashtra governments of “not being concerned” about the plight of farmers, whom he appealed to defeat the ruling party in the October 21 Assembly elections.

"The agrarian crisis had deepened in the state during the past five years," he said,  adding only 31% farmers benefited from the state government’s farm loan waiver scheme.