Onion price surge: What Maharashtra FPC doing to check further hike

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Updated: August 23, 2019 2:20:53 AM

Thorat said that a large part of the procurement had reached Delhi to be sold through Mother Dairy’s fruit and vegetable outlets Safal. Onions have also reached Delhi mandis such as Azadpur, and neighbouring states and UTs, including Chandigarh, through Nafed.

 price rise, Government, MEP, onion, onion price, minimum export price, market news, commodity newsThe FPC connected with 39 farmer producer companies which helped in procuring onions from 3,500 small and marginal farmers.

With onion prices on the rise, Maharashtra Farmers Producer Company (MahaFPC), the apex body of farmer producer companies in the state, has begun trading the bulb outside the state to check further hike in the commodity’s price. MahaFPC along with Nafed has traded 5,000 tonne onion so far, according to MahaFPC MD Yogesh Thorat. He said MahaFPC had entered into a joint venture with Nafed to procure around 25,000 tonne onion under the Price Stabilization Fund from Lasalgaon — the largest onion wholesale market in the country — for release during lean periods.

Nafed, in one of its biggest procurement exercises, had procured over 30,000 tonne onion from Maharashtra this season. MahaFPC was told to procure 25,000 tonne in March. The onions came from seven districts — Nashik, Pune, Ahmednagar, Aurangabad, Solapur, Osmanabad and Jalna. The FPC connected with 39 farmer producer companies which helped in procuring onions from 3,500 small and marginal farmers.

Thorat said that a large part of the procurement had reached Delhi to be sold through Mother Dairy’s fruit and vegetable outlets Safal. Onions have also reached Delhi mandis such as Azadpur, and neighbouring states and UTs, including Chandigarh, through Nafed.

In Kerala, MahaFPC has tied up with Kerala State Marketing Federation for onion supply. In Tamil Nadu, onions have been sold through Nafed, he said.

During a review meeting by Union consumer affairs secretary Avinash K Srivastava in New Delhi, it was decided that the retail price of onion at Safal outlets would be capped at Rs 23.90 per kg (for grade A variety).

Nafed and NCCF were also directed to retail onions at prices similar to those of Safal through their outlets and mobile vans. Besides, the government will evaluate the need for imposing minimum export price (MEP) on onion if the situation so demands.

Normally, early season onion arrivals begin around this time from Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka, which contribute nearly 15 % of the annual supply. However, due to floods arrivals of early season crop from these states are low this year.

Also, sowing of normal variety kharif onion was delayed due to late onset of monsoon. Harvesting of kharif crop begins towards the end of October, but it is expected to get delayed by three weeks this year.

The Union government has warned that it will consider strict action against hoarding and profiteering activities and evaluate the need for imposing minimum export price (MEP) on onion if the situation so demands.

Modal onion prices at Lasalgaon touched Rs 2,015 per quintal — the highest price for onion this season. The minimum price was Rs 700 per quintal and maximum price was Rs 2,372 per quintal with nearly 25,448 quintal being traded in Lasalgaon.

Onion prices shot up by 71% to trade at Rs 20.50 a kg on August 20 from Rs 12 a kg a month ago. Although arrivals were poor till a couple of weeks ago due to rain and farmers’ pre-occupation with planting, these have started picking up now.

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