State announces ₹150 crore package for onion farmers

Each farmer to get subsidy of ₹200 per quintal, up to 200 quintals of onion

As onions continue to command low rates due to the glut in the market, the Maharashtra Cabinet on Thursday announced a package of ₹150 crore for onion farmers. Each farmer will get a subsidy of ₹200 per quintal, up to 200 quintals of their onion produce.

The subsidy is applicable to farmers who have sold produce between November 1 and December 15 this year in the agriculture produce market committees. The decision will not be applicable to the Mumbai APMC. Altogether, ₹150 crore will be directly transferred to farmers’ bank accounts.

The Opposition, meanwhile, termed the package as a mockery of the plight of the farmers. “This amount comes down to ₹2 per kilogram. Will the government explain the logic behind providing such little help to farmers?” Nationalist Congress Party State president Jayant Patil said.

Onion production in the State takes place in three seasons: kharif, late kharif and rabi. According to government officials, the onion produced in kharif and late kharif seasons cannot be stored for too long, compared to that produced in rabi season.

While the total onion production in the State till now is estimated to be around 75 lakh quintal, the agriculture market committees received around 41.23 lakh quintal onion in November.

“With such a huge supply, the prices have naturally dropped. The onion belt of the State, especially north Maharashtra, is suffering. Today’s decision will help to bring relief to farmers,” an official said.

Last week, as a mark of protest, an onion farmer in Nashik had sent his paltry earnings to the Prime Minister’s Office. The PMO had asked for a report from the State government.

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Printable version | Mar 30, 2020 7:48:46 PM |

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