The agriculture department in Aurangabad district has received over 40,000 applications for 75 onion storage facilities to be allotted by the Maharashtra government here this year, an official said.
The storage structures are provided to farmers under the Maha Falotpadan Vikas Abhiyan, the official from the agriculture department here told PTI on Monday.
Some cultivators are now demanding that the facilities be provided to all applicants.
Last year, nearly 13,000 applications were received and about 1,000 onion storage structures were allotted to farmers here, the official said.
Onion has been cultivated on about 20,000 hectare of land in the district during the current season, he informed.
This year, Aurangabad has been allotted 75 onion storage structures, each costing Rs 87,500, he said.
"We have received 40,623 applications online this year for these structures," the official said.
He said farmers apply for a number of government schemes with the hope of getting the benefit of some or the other welfare initiative, and this is one of the reasons for the increase in the number of applications.
The allotment of the storage facilities is done through an online lottery system and shortlisted farmers are then asked to submit their documents which are verified physically, the official said.
Since 2015, more than 4,500 onion storage facilities have been allotted in the district, he added.
Former sarpanch of Aurangabad's Palkhed village, Nandkishor Jadhav, has demanded a change in the process of allotment of these storage facilities.
"The number of farmers taking up cultivation of onion is growing. The storage facilities should be given to everyone who demands it. The Palkhed gram panchayat had earlier submitted a memorandum regarding this to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray," Jadhav said.