In order to stop the fall in onion market price permanently, there is a need to implement an export promotion scheme, until the fall in price stops, farmers should be given a subsidy of at least Rs 500 per quintal, NCP leader A. Chhagan Bhujbal has approached Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
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Bhujbal has presented the problem of onion producers in the letter given in this regard. Maharashtra accounts for 33 percent of the total onion production in India. Average production in Maharashtra is higher than other states. Moreover, since the quality of onions here is good, Maharashtra has a lion’s share in exports. Nashik, Pune, Solapur, Satara, Ahmednagar, Dhule, Buldhana and Jalgaon districts of Maharashtra are famous for onion production and Nashik district has 29 percent share in onion production in Maharashtra. 85 to 90 percent of the total income sold in Lasalgaon market committee is onion. In general, this onion is sold from six districts namely Nashik, Ahmednagar, Dhule, Jalgaon, Nandurbar, Aurangabad. Bhujbal said that since Lasalgaon and other market committees in the district are the primary markets, only the agricultural produce of the farmers are being sold here.
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At present, rabi (summer) onion is being sold at a general average of Rs.800 per quintal. Onion storage costs a lot. On the other hand there is maximum decline in stored onions. At the time when onion harvest started, per quintal Rs. 1200 to 1500 was the market price. But today the farmers are desperate as they are getting only Rs. This year, the domestic demand for onions has decreased due to the large production of onions in Nashik, Pune, Solapur districts of Maharashtra along with the states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and West Bengal. Meanwhile, due to Bangladesh’s restriction on onion import and severe economic situation in Sri Lanka, the export of onion has come to a standstill. As Indian onion is not being exported to these two major importing countries of India, the market price of onion is falling day by day due to lack of demand. If the decline continues like this, there will be dissatisfaction among the farmers towards the central government. Bhujbal has suggested to the government to take some measures including implementation of onion export promotion scheme to stop the fall in market prices as agitations are being carried out at various places.
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As the 10% Onion Export Incentive Scheme implemented earlier by the Central Government for onion exporters has been discontinued from 11th June 2019, the said scheme should be restarted, efforts should be made to resume onion exports to Bangladesh and the quota system for sending onions by rail to Bangladesh should be abolished, as much as the exporters want for Bangladesh and Railway administration should decide to provide half racks of Kisan Rail or BCN for sending onion in time, currently BCN racks are provided for sending onion through railways. It usually takes five to eight days to transport onion through said rack. Bhujbal has pointed out that if Kisan Rail is provided to the onion exporters here or a separate rail for the business class on that line, the goods will be delivered within 48 to 60 hours.