Farmers, traders unhappy with onions inclusion in EC Act

Tags: News
Farmers and traders here are concerned over the government decision to bring onion under the Essential Commodities Act (ECA) sans declaration of minimum support price (MSP) and concessions on rail freight.

"To protect the interest of farmers, the government should have declared MSP for onion as soon as it was included under the Essential Commodities Act," Lasalgaon Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) Chairman Nanasaheb Patil told reporters here over the weekend.

He pointed out that onion cannot be brought under the Act as this law prohibits storage of any commodity. The vegetable does not qualify to be under the ECA since onion is a commodity that has to be stored for off-season sales and there is no harvest during March through September.

"If onion storage is restricted, it will be very difficult to supply the commodity during the seven months of off-season, resulting in soaring prices," Patil said.

Both in terms of area and yield, Maharashtra is the largest onion producing state followed by Karnataka.

Under the Act, the Centre should also provide concessions on rail freight, he said.

However, the government has not declared any such concessions and instead increased the rail freight by 6 per cent, Patil maintained.

Further, Patil said, as per the Act the government can procure the commodity, if necessary, at any cost from farmers, which will hurt them as they are hardly making any profit.

"The farmers' profitability is already hit due to uncertain weather conditions and higher input costs like fertiliser, weedicides, fungicides, plant nutrients among others. So, if the government asks for onion supply at any cost, how will we manage?" onion grower BS Jadhav asked.

If the government does not take any action, he said, farmers will be forced to stop growing onions.

EDITORIAL OF THE DAY

  • Nothing short of a uniform civil code will work in India

    When the Jamiat-Ulama-I-Hind (JUH), a powerful body of muslim clerics dedicated to address the aspirations of the community, turns to quote the religi

FC NEWSLETTER

Stay informed on our latest news!

TODAY'S COLUMNS

Tushar Gandhi

A democracy must stand up for its people

We are the world’s most populous dem­ocracy, but behave in ...

Purnendu Ghosh

A curious and an innovative mind

Curiosity is hard-wired into our psyche. We all recognise that ...

Shona Adhikari

A good time for European art auctions

This week, we bring you interesting art news and the ...

INTERVIEWS

William D. Green

Chairman & CEO, Accenture