Yesterday, the stalemate between the onion traders in Maharashtra’s Nashik district and the state government continued into its second day, further disrupting the auction of the produce. Representatives of the Nashik District Onion Traders Association (NDOTA) held a joining meeting with Guardian Minister Dada Bhuse and the District Collector, which failed to provide a definitive solution, resulting in the continuation of the strike. The ban on auctions poses significant challenges for farmers and is likely to impact the retail price and supply of the bulbs across the country.
Faced with the administration’s threat of license suspension or cancellation if they didn’t end the strike, some traders voluntarily surrendered their trade licenses.
A key catalyst for the strike was the recent decision by the federal government to raise export duty on onions by up to 40%, a measure set to remain in effect until December 31. The traders’ demands encompass the cancellation of export duty on onions, a 50 % reduction in market fees, involvement of the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) and the National Cooperative Consumers’ Federation of India (NCCF) in auctions and a 50% subsidy in onion transportation costs.