Growing woes of onion farmers in Maharashtra


Vinod Jagdale

The prices of onions have always managed to create controviersies and their high prices must have hit your budget as well. Farmers in Maharashtra have been trapped in a strange scenario these days. They are forced to sell their produce at much below prices than what you have been shelling out to buy. Despite this vast difference neither you are getting onion at its original cost nor the farmers are able to recover their cost let alone making any profit.

Believe it or not, farmers in Pune's wholesale market just get Re 1 as profit after selling a whopping 952 kg onion. A farmer sells 952 kg onion at a meager cost of just Rs 1.60 paise per kg in the wholesale market of Pune which means he gets a total of Rs 1523.20 of 952 kg onion.

A farmer requires to pay Rs 91.35 paise as commission in the wholesale market, Rs 59 to the labourer who carries the sack of onion, Rs 18.55 paise for stuffing the onions in the sacks, Rs 33.30 to measure the weight of onion and Rs 1330 as transportation fare. After paying all these costs the farmer is only left with Rs 1. It means the country's farmers are only able to yield a profit of Rs one after selling 952 kg onion. Despite this glaring difference the buyers have to shell out between Rs 20-30 to purchase one kg onion. The question that arises here is that where is the profit of this entire produce going.

The onle silver lining in this entire scenario is that the Devendra Fadnavis government's own ally is not supporting it on this issue. Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut has recently said, "Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Man Ki Baat' has failed to reach the onion farmers of the state. Whether it is central government or state government, they all make tall claims when elections are round the corner. So when farmers in Maharashtra are merely getting just Rs 1 as profit after selling 952 kg onion in the wholesale market why will not they be compelled to commit suicide?"