National Agricultural Co-operative Marketing Federation of India (Nafed) and Small Farmers Agri-Business Consortium (SFAC) will start onion procurement next week under the Price Stability Fund (PSF) that was set up by the Centre to control onion prices and prevent artificial hoarding by traders.
The Centre has released R5 crore to Nafed for the procurement so that a buffer stock can be created, said Nafed officials. Initially Nafed will procure 2,500 tonne onion from Lasalgaona and Pimpalgaon in Nashik.
Subject to the availability of storage, the quantity will be raised to 10,000 tonne, said officials. A team of Nafed officials, led by managing director Ram Subhag Singh, was in Nashik to start preparations for the procurement, said officials.
The Centre had introduced PSF to control prices of perishable farm products and also made a provision of R500 core in the Budget for 2014-15. The government had decided to use stability funds for onion and potato.
Officials said they will start the procurement in Lasalgaon on Friday and next week in Pimpalgaon. “Onion, thus, procured will be supplied at reasonable rates in case of price rise, they said.
Maharashtra Federation of Farmer Producers Organisations has been mandated by SFAC to procure onion. Shriram Gadhave, president of the federation and Vegetable Growers Association of India, said the federation will initially procure 5,000 tonne and will store these at private warehouses and those accredited by the Maharashtra State Agriculture Marketing Board ( MSAMB) which will taken on lease.
Around 12,000 quintal onion arrived at Lasalgaon on Friday with minimum price of R300 per quintal and maximum R1,612 per quintal. In Pimpalgaon, around 19,500 quintal onion arrived on Friday.