Maharashtra: Onion rates may continue to rise

NASHIK: Onion rates will continue to rise and will remain strong, even during Diwali, due to several reasons, as per predictions from farmers, Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) office bearers and merchants.

On Thursday, onion was traded at maximum Rs 38.25 per kg in Lasalgaon APMC while the minimum rate was Rs 14.51 per kg and average rate was Rs 35.51 per kg.

Lasalgaon APMC Chairwoman Suvarna Jagtap said on Thursday that rates were high due to low arrivals. “Generally we get about 15 to 20 thousand quintals daily during this season but actual arrivals now are only 15 to 20 percent. We (APMC) have appealed farmers to bring their onion as the rates were good but the Shetkari Sanghatana has urged them not to bring their produce. Merchants too cannot purchase over 500 quintals in a day, she said.

Merchant Prakash Dayma said that there was less produce and the rates would continue to be high. “Presently Unhal onion, which was harvested earlier this year and is stored, is being traded in the markets.

Generally the Lal onion arrives in the markets in Diwali but as the sowing was late it will arrive in the markets after Diwali so the rates would remain high,” he said.

Farmer Ashok Kapse from Niphad said that there was no need to ban exports it was very low. Even if farmers are presently getting higher rates, people don’t understand that they have already lost 50 percent produce due to rains and humidity. Onion chawls (godowns) were inundated recently and the tuber crop rotted.

Farmer DB Kadri from Vinchur said that, the present rates were very low - below Rs 30 per kg and they should get at least Rs 50 per kg. “Onion seedlings have been washed away due to the present rains and now are costly, but farmers will have to buy and sow it.”

“Sometimes the rates fall to Rs two per kg when there is a bumper crop but the cost of production remains the same and farmers do not earn even when the prices are high. The only solution to this onion crisis is for the government to fix remunerative prices,” he said.

It should be recalled that most of the onion traded at any APMC is at minimum to average rates. The highest rates are given to exceptionally high quality onion and this amount is very low. However traders tell consumers the highest price and extract double the rate. Eg, even the onion traded at Rs 14.51 per kg is sold at over Rs 60 per kg in city markets and the consumers believe them.

Maximum, Minimum and Average rates in rupees per quintal in Lasalgaon APMC

Date Min Max Ave Arrivals (Quintals)

Oct 10 1451 3825 3551 4500

Oct 9 1500 3806 3550 3893

Oct 4 1201 3303 2801 2390

Oct 3 1000 3104 2651 3455

Oct 1 1252 3441 3200 4149

Sept 30 1002 3501 3251 3310

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