Nashik: Six months ago, onion farmers in Nashik shed copious tears, as the most they could get for their produce was Rs 1,000-1,200 per quintal because, on an average, the rates were Rs 800-900 per quintal.
However, ten days ago, things took a 180-degree upswing, with prices soaring to Rs 1,400-Rs 1,500 a quintal. In the last three-four days, this has further risen to Rs 2,250-Rs 2,300 per quintal. Now, it is the turn of the consumer to cry.
News of the shortage of the kitchen staple has made it dearer and farmers are getting nearly Rs 2,500 per quintal. This trend is likely to continue till Diwali. But this joy of the farmers is likely to be shortlived because even though they are now getting a better price, there is not much stock to go around.
The recent floods and the ensuing havoc in western Maharashtra had practically washed away the crop. However, the produce that was barely netting them a pittance is now the source of a windfall, fetching them Rs 2,300-Rs 2,500.
Nature has been playing truant with farmers for the last two years. There was a severe drought in this area and farmers were barely able to water their crop; yet they somehow managed to salvage it. The summer crop is hardier than its winter counterpart.
While some farmers harvested and sold their yield, some of them put it into storage. This monsoon, not just Maharashtra but other onion-growing states like Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Gujarat too have experienced severe floods.
Farmers and traders have suffered huge losses. In addition to this, as the rains set in late, the sowing too was delayed, adding to the farmers' misery.
As if this was not enough hardship, farmers barely managed to procure Rs 800-900 per quintal for their harvest, further reducing them to tears. However, for the last 10 days, things have been looking up.