The Maharashtra cabinet has approved Rs. 150 crore as relief to onion farmers who had to sell their produce at low prices.
According to Maharashtra’s Marketing Department Principal Secretary, the cabinet approved an ex-gratia payment at Rs. 200 per quintal rate for onions sold between November 1 to December 15.
The compensation will cover a total of 75 lakh metric tons of onions.
Lately, onion farmers in Maharashtra have been resorting to different means of protest to express their displeasure over low price of their produce.
On December 13, two distressed farmers in Satana town of Nashik district dumped their onions on the road to protest against a steep fall in the wholesale price of one of their key crops.
The two farmers, Ravindra Birari and Prashant Mahajan, took the unusual step after they were offered a meagre amount of Rs. 1.5 per kilogram for their onions, while the production cost of the crop was Rs. 9 per kilogram.
“I have thrown my 17 quintal onion on road to mark my protest after the Agricultural Produce Market Committee offered me Rs. 1.50 per kg rate for the onion,” said Mr Birari.
A distressed farmer from Maharashtra had sent Rs. 1,064 he earned this season after selling 750 kg onions, to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund.
This comes despite the fact that the union cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 7 approved the Agriculture Export Policy 2018 with an aim to double farmers’ income by 2022.