Indian onion growers march to demand higher prices

Thousands of farmers in India's western state of Maharashtra are marching toward the state capital city Mumbai demanding higher prices for their onion crop. Thursday marks the fifth straight day of their protest march. On Sunday evening, the farmers, including women, set out from Dindori in Nashik district The farmers have a list of demands, including immediate financial relief for onion growers. Over the past few weeks, onion farmers in the state have been hit hard by a steep fall in onion prices.

Officials said the high production has led to a fall in prices and less demand for the crop. Apart from financial relief, the farmers are also demanding an uninterrupted electricity supply for 12 hours and a waiver of agriculture loans. The ongoing protest march has forced the local government to announce some financial relief. However, farmers have rejected the proposal and continued their march.

Reports said in absence of buyers, onions are rotting in fields. Farmers fear the cost incurred on harvesting the onion crop and taking it to the market was much higher than return on its sale.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra's Chief Minister Eknath Shinde is scheduled to meet farmer leaders.


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