In Maharashtra, quality problems hit Nafed’s onion acquisition


In Maharashtra, the wholesale onion acquisition by the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED) for the Centre’s buffer stock has been having difficulties in quality problems. After simplifying the second lockdown of India,  the total acquisition of this target put by the government and around 50,000 tonnes of the product has been acquired by NAFED, accompanied by helping farmer producer companies.

The general manager of Nashik, Sushil Sant who is supervising the overall attainment process of the commodity. He identified as the main reason for this damage to crops was the unseasonal rains in both the months of February and March. And from the estimates, it is clear that only 20-30% of the crop is storable and fine sufficient to put forward to the market of this commodity. And due to this issue, the acquisition process has not been able to pick up speed. So far only 50,000 tonnes have been acquired and adding that the acquisition targets have remained unchanged.

The National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED) is to acquire several 2 lakh tonnes of onion as the buffer stock at the inducing market rate under the Price Stabilisation Fund.  Maharashtra’s share is 1.5 lakh tonnes of the target market and of which 1.4 lakh tonnes will be acquired through the farmer producer companies such as  Maharaja, Pruthashakti Farmer Producer Company and Maharashtra Farmer Producer Company (MahaFPC) and the persisting 10,000 tonnes through NAFED.

The farmer producer companies are rewarding farmers for Rs 22.80 per kg for the bulb at present and it is an average of the modal values of the last three days.  At Lasalgaon, the wholesale onion prices, the country’s largest wholesale market for the bulb also, have been about Rs 1,900-2,000 per quintal due to an increase in overall demand.

 The managing director of Maharashtra Farmer Producer Company (MahaFPC), Yogesh Thorat, acting for a federation of nearly 303 farmer producer companies (FPCs) in the state, pointed out that’s the agencies have been facing the issue of quality problems as the product has been declining because of climatic problems. And it has a target of around 25,000 tonnes also.

Then the chairperson of the Lasalgaon market committee, Suvarna Jagtap, said that the summer onion goods which are searched for by the major acquisition agencies are in short supply. And at present, the market has surged with the varieties of red onion, which has a shelf life of barely two-three months. Summer onion with a ledge life of six months is in little supply.

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