The BJP-led government in Maharashtra on Thursday approved Rs. 150 crore as relief to onion farmers in the state.
Maharashtra, the top producer of onions in India, was suffering from growing agrarian crisis as a result of which the farmers were forced to sell fresh onions at prices as low as Rs 1.50 a kg.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis declared an ex gratia payment of Rs 200 per quintal for onions sold between November 1 and December 15, 2018. Also, there is an upper limit of 200 quintals per farmer.
The officials of the Marketing Department in Maharashtra have told that the selling price of onions(harvested in summer) has come down to Rs 250- 300 per quintal from Rs 800-1500 per quintal(in October).
According to Subhash Deshmukh, Minister of Co-operation and Marketing, as many as 2 lakh farmers will benefit from this scheme.
The farmers distressed over the agrarian crisis had given away onions for free. Many of them earned as little as Rs 0.51 per kg, which didn’t even recover the investments made by them.
A few weeks back, an onion farmer from Maharashtra, downhearted over receiving a meager amount of around Re 1 per kg, sent his earnings to Prime Minister’s Disaster Relief Fund as a mark of protest. He even bore the burden of additional Rs 54 to send the money order.