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NCP MLAs turn up with onion garlands at Maharashtra Assembly, seek remedial measures as prices dip

Mumbai: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLAs on Tuesday reached Maharashtra Vidhan Sabha carrying onions on their head and wearing onion garlands demanding appropriate price for onions as prices dipped.
Earlier on Monday, owing to a low wholesale price of onions, the farmers stopped auctions at Nashik's Lasalgaon Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC). This was followed by a protest of the onion-growers association Maharashtra State Onion Growers' Association against the government.
Due to the gradual decline in onion prices, the farmers began their agitation at the Lasalgaon APMC resulting in the stoppage of the onion auctions. The organization demanded that the onions be sold at the right price. The sale of onions at the auction was stopped as they were being sold at prices as low as Rs 1/kg or Rs 2/kg.
Due to the huge yield of the onion crop, its prices are falling down in other states as well.
A farmer, who was also protesting at the site, said that they incur a cost of Rs 50,000 per acre to grow onions, while they earn only Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000 for the produce sold at the auctions. He also said that it has come to the point that the farmers were considering suicide - a better option, adding that, the Modi government should extend a helping hand to the farmers.
Notably, a few days ago Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS) staged a chakka-jam on Shirdi-Surat Highway, citing the decline in onion price. During their strike, the farmers had thrown off onions and grapes on the ground to express their resentment against the government.
A similar protest was witnessed when the farmers' association registered their anger against the governments in both State and Centre, and NAFED (National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd).
In a shocking incident in Solapur district, a 58-year-old onion farmer from Borgaon village had travelled a distance of 70 km to sell 512 kg onions at Solapur APMC. After the sale, to much surprise, he was handed over a cheque for Rs 2.
Onion is the main cash crop in Maharashtra and it accounts for 35 to 40 per cent of the country's total production of the staple vegetable.
Not only onions but also other vegetables are being sold at lower prices, giving a hard time to the farmers. In another similar incident, a farmer Ambadas Sahebrao Nikam of Yevala Taluka Kusur village fed brinjal worth Rs 10,000 to his cattle, as he was not getting a fair price for his crop. (ANI)

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