On Wednesday, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar asked the federal government to increase the 40,000-tonne limit set for NAFED for procuring onions to 50,000 tonnes in the interest of cultivators and consumers in the state.
The National Agricultural Cooperative Federation of India (NAFED) is a central agency that aims to promote cooperative marketing of agricultural produce to benefit farmers. Pawar said Maharashtra has witnessed good production of onions and the produce is available on a big scale presently across agricultural produce market committees in the state.
The current COVID-19 crisis, however, has affected the purchase of onions, the senior NCP leader added. Pawar predicted that with favourable weather conditions, the onion production will be on the higher side during the rabi (winter) season.
Once this crop will hit the markets, prices will plunge, adversely affecting farmers, the Finance minister said. To avoid this, the government’s decision to purchase onion through NAFED is worth welcoming, but reducing the procurement limit to 40,000 tonnes from 45,000 tonnes last year is unjust. That is why the procurement limit should be increased to 50,000 tonnes, according to Pawar.