With onions arriving in full swing at Lasalgaon — the country’s largest wholesale market for the bulb, in addition to other 14 odd agriculture produce market committees(APMCs) in Nashik district — there is a growing demand for railway wagons among traders at Nashik.
“Onion prices have dropped to an average of Rs 5 per kg in wholesale market because of heavy arrivals. And sending onions through trucks is turning out to be a very expensive process for traders because the truckers end up hiking prices and there is no guarantee of the commodity reaching the markets in other states in time.
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“This leads to a deterioration in quality. Availability of railway wagons can help resolve this issue,” Jaydutt Holkar, chairman, Lasalgaon APMC said. Holkar has written to Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis for more railway wagons so that more onions can be sold to other states and there is price stability in the market.
According to Holkar, usually as per practice, traders seek more wagons from Railways and are even ready to pay for the use of the wagons. However, they end up getting just a couple of wagons when they seek around 5-6 wagons. The daily arrivals at Lasalgaon are to the tune of some 25,000 quintals a day which has led to a fall in prices, he said.
Moreover, since the Kharif onion has a short shelf life they need to be sold quickly, he added. If the Railway authorities grant more wagons, the sales of onions will rise and the prices will remain stable, Holkar said.