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Onion prices firm up at Lasalgaon on short supplies, rise in demand

Nanda Kasabe
Onion prices firm up at Lasalgaon on short supplies, rise in demand (Reuters file photo)

The average wholesale price of onions at the Lasalgaon Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) on Tuesday touched `1,330 per quintal due to short supplies, rise in demand and procurement by Nafed bringing cheers to farmers.

Modal onion prices on Tuesday rose to `1,330 per quintal with the minimum price at `600 per quintal and the maximum price at `1,428 per quintal. Arrivals were to the tune of 17,000 quintals. Arrivals were heavier on Monday at 21,685 quintal while average prices were at `1,301 per quintal.

Lasalgaon APMC chairman Jaydutta Holkar said that prices had gone up in the past fortnight on decline in supplies.

This is the start of the summer onion and farmers after sorting, grading and storing onions initially sell the poor quality onions. As the season progresses, farmers wait and watch and then bring supplies out for sale, which is why the rates have gone up.

Farmers prefer storing the good quality summer onions in the hope of getting better prices later.

The prices started increasing last month after the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (Nafed) started onion procurement from the district.

In the past month, the average wholesale price has increased by `400- `500 per quintal. He also felt that the price rise was mostly due to a reduction in rabi onion acreage in the state.

APMC officials highlighted that prices could cross `1,500 per quintal in a couple of weeks as the fasting month of Ramzan was over and its demand has started to increase again. Farmers who need money for kharif sowing were bringing onion to the market, they said.

Procurement by Nafed is another factor that has firmed up prices. Senior Nafed officials said an additional quota of 10,000 tonne had been given to MahaFPC the apex body of farmer producer companies in Maharashtra.

Sushil Sant, GM, Nafed, Nashik, said MahaFPC had earlier met its target of procurement of 20,000 tonne.

Nafed has a target of 50,000 tonne of which the procurement of 30,000 tonne has already been met. Prices are on the rise because of several factors, he said, adding that the farmer producer company has been given this additional target, which he hoped, would be met soon.

The farmer producer companies plan to finish their procurement by the end of June.