Onion auctions in Nashik APMCs continue to be at a standstill. Many farmers are reluctant to bring their produce to the auctions, citing unprofitable price conditions. Despite efforts by local leaders and the district administration to mediate and persuade the farmers, the impasse persists.
At Pimpalgaon agricultural produce marketing committee (APMC) yard, farmers staged protests demanding that Nafed participate in the auction. Lasalgaon APMC saw the auctions resume under police protection, with farmers alleging that Nafed not involving itself in the process of auctioning was leading to lower prices for their produce.
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Meanwhile, at Yeola APMC, farmers refused to bring their onions to the market and APMC officials noted that Nafed had not approached them for onion procurement. Nafed has opened only a few centres and not begun full-scale procurement of onion yet.
At Lasalgaon, only 4,752 quintals of onions were brought for auction and sold at the modal price (the rate at which most trades take place) of ₹2,150. In Pimpalgaon Baswant, 7,200 quintals of onions were auctioned at ₹2,150. In Nampur APMC, 13,270 quintals of onions were auctioned at a modal price of ₹2,200. Farmers in Nashik district have been demanding a minimum price of ₹2,410 per quintal, in line with Nafed’s current procurement price.
Farmer leaders have said they will continue their agitation if onion prices offered at the auctions remain below the rate announced by Nafed.
The Centre had announced its intention to purchase 2 lakh tonnes of onions at ₹2,410 per quintal to support both farmers and consumers. NCCF and Nafed will sell onions at a subsidised rate of ₹25 per kg for consumers in different regions.
Farmers in Lasalgaon have raised concerns over the government’s plan to procure only two lakh tonnes of onions from the market, leaving a significant surplus. They question who will purchase the remaining onion stock at the government’s specified rate.