A drop in onion prices has led to a 50% drop in income of the Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMCs) in the Nashik district, one of the main onion producing belts in Maharashtra, this fiscal year.
Lasalgaon APMC, the largest wholesale onion market in the country, reported revenues of Rs 35 million (€446,000) in 2018-19. Last year, the market committee’s turnover was Rs 615 million (€783,000). Similarly, the neighbouring Pimpalgaon Baswant reported revenues of Rs 106.3 million (€1.35 mln) as compared to Rs 167.7 million (€2.14 mln)the previous year. Yeola APMC saw its income drop from Rs 60.1 million to Rs 29.0 million this year.
Other market committees besides Lasalgaon and Pimpalgaon Baswant, including Niphad, Kalwan, Manmad, Nandgaon and Chandwad, that also deal in foodgrains in addition to onions, had to bear losses of nearly Rs 7.5 bln this FY, according to market committee officials.
Sanjay Patil, secretary, Pimpalgaon Baswant market committee said that both onion and tomato have been on the downslide during the year causing losses to farmers and in turn to the committee as well. Market committees usually charge 1% for the sale of the produce.
This fiscal, the market committee suffered losses of Rs 60 mln which means farmers have suffered even more losses, he said. Employee salaries and development work of the market committees is done through the revenues earned from the market excess and this means that development work is usually impacted, he added.
Over 60-70% income of the committee comes from onion, followed by tomatoes, raisins, pomegranates, fruits and vegetables, he said. Market committee officials pointed out that the bumper onion crop this year has led to huge arrivals in the market leading to a fall in prices. A large section of onion farmers had suffered huge losses last year after the prices crashed. The government announced a compensation package to make up for their losses. According to an article on financialexpress.com¸ onion farmers have begun getting these grants from the government.
[ Rs100 = €1.27 ]