On the directives of the Centre, the state government has asked all APMCs in Nashik district to maintain a daily record of procurement of registered traders which has resulted in a price drop.
The Lasalgaon Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC), the largest wholesale market for onions in the country, has approached the Centre yet again, urging the government to revoke the ban on onion export and remove the stock limit for traders to 500 quintals.
Suvarna Jagtap, chairperson, Lasalgaon APMC, told FE that the prices have dropped sharply following the increase in supply from the South and this coupled with the decision of the Centre to ban exports in addition to imposing stock limits on onions with traders have adversely affected the market. “Farmers are not getting prices,” she said. A representation has been submitted to the finance minister and the commerce minister, she said.
Wholesale onion prices were recorded at a low of Rs 2,051 per quintal on Thursday with arrivals at 5,322 quintals. Modal prices marginally rose to Rs 2,450 per quintal on Friday with arrivals dropping to 3,100 quintals. Arrivals further dropped to 1,429 quintals on Saturday with prices at Rs 2,581 per quintal. Jagtap said the market was closed on Sunday for the weekend and Monday because of elections but arrivals have drastically dropped after the government has imposed stock limits. Earlier, arrivals were to the tune of 12,000-15,000 quintals but farmers, because of the fear of their onion not being sold, have stopped coming to the market. Also, there is pressure on traders because of the stock limits, she said, adding that prices were high earlier because of the lack of supply from the South. Now that the arrivals from the South have increased, there is reduced demand from the market resulting in prices going down, Jagtap said.
On the directives of the Centre, the state government has asked all APMCs in Nashik district to maintain a daily record of procurement of registered traders which has resulted in a price drop. Top officials revealed that daily report has to be submitted to the Deputy District Registrar (DDR) on the daily procurement of onion which has led to a drop in both arrivals and procurement by traders. Arrivals have dropped down to 2,000-3,000 odd quintals from 10,000 quintals before September 29.
According to APMC officials, there is a panic among traders following the visit of a central team to Nashik to take stock of the onion supply in the state and the scenario of the new Kharif crop arrivals amid concerns about a price rise in onions. The team also visited Lasalgaon to find out reasons for the volatility in the market prices.
As per the findings of the team, farmers in the state still possess around 20-25% stocks of onion and the supply should not pose much of a problem until new Kharif arrivals. This amounts to nearly 4.5 lakh tonne, the official revealed, stating that the team has been visiting farmers in Nashik, Pune, Ahmednagar, Jalgaon, among other major onion markets, in the state. The team also held a meeting with officials at Lasalgaon to ascertain reasons for the price rise and warned traders against hoarding which also led to drop in average wholesale price.
Jagtap pointed out that with the arrival of fresh kharif onions from South as well as Rajasthan, Gujarat and MadhyaPradesh in the next two to three weeks, the demand for onions from Nashik should reduce and prices could drop, she said.