Nagpur/Mumbai: Onion growers in Maharashtra have gone livid as Fadnavis Government has decided to import onions from Pakistan and other countries including Egypt, China, Afghanistan to curb rising prices of the household commodity.
The state-owned MMTC Ltd (Metals and Minerals Trading Corporation) has floated a tender for import of onions from Pakistan and other countries sparking widespread anger among farmers in state. The MMTC tender, dated September 6, has sought delivery of 2,000 tonnes of imported onion by November-end.
Currently, wholesale prices of onion at Lasalgaon in Maharashtra’s Nashik district are ruling at around Rs 2,300 per quintal, while the commodity is retailing at Rs 39-42/kg in major cities.
The Chairman of Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) at Lasalgaon, Jaydutta Holkar slammed the move saying there was no need to import when the Centre had created a buffer stock of 56,000 tonnes procured from the rabi crop, of which only about 18,000 tonnes have been sold till now. Onion consumption will anyway come down with the Navratri festival season beginning September-end. And by the time the imports come, the kharif crop would have also arrived in the markets, he asserted.
Holkar further said that the quantity for which the bids have been invited is not huge, but it will definitely have an impact on sentiment. Farmers who have stocked from the rabi crop will now hasten to sell it, bringing down prices.
The average modal price of onion in Lasalgaon market, the country’s largest, has risen from Rs 830 per quintal in April to Rs 931 in May, Rs 1,222 in June, Rs 1,252 in July and Rs 1,880 in August. This month, it has so far averaged Rs 2,377 per quintal.