A day after the central government demanded a detailed report on a Maharashtra onion farmer sending his paltry earnings of ₹ 1,064 (€13.25) from selling 750 kg of his produce to the Prime Minister's Relief fund, the Maharashtra state government has gone in course-correction mode. It has decided to take slew of measures to pacify the angry onion growing farmers and boost the plummeting onion market, by offering transport subsidies.
Maharashtra Minister for state (Marketing & Federation) Sadhabhau Khot called an urgent meeting of the concerned department secretaries and other stake holders on Wednesday. In the meeting, they decided to ask the central government to increase the export subsidies from 5 to 10 percent on onion exports.
“No charges should be imposed on exporting onions. It has also decided to extend the subsidy for transporting the onion to various parts of India where there is higher demand for onion in order to fetch fair rates for the farmers. This transport subsidy will be Rs 30,000 (€374) or 50 percent against total cost of the transport,” said Khot.
Nanasaheb Patil, chairman of Agriculture Produce Market Committee Lasalgaon, Nasik welcomed the Maharashtra government decision but is sceptical about its success: “A large number of market traders or exporters are preferring the fresh arrival. Now, who will take care of the old stock? The relief provided is misplaced and hence the farmer’s anger will barely recede any time soon due to the government’s wrong policies and misplaced priorities.”