NEW DELHI: Farmers are going for large-scale onion farming in Maharashtra from this season as well as next season to cash in on the price spike of the indispensable kitchen staple. At present, onions are being sold at Rs 70 to Rs 90 per kg in the retail market with no relief in sight as of now for consumers.
Even the prices of onion seeds have gone up from Rs 2,000-2,200 per kg to Rs 4,000-5,000 per kg. Nanasaheb Patil, a farmer from Nasik, said the farming community is hoping that the demand for onion remains high. “There is a huge shortage of onions in India. The demand cannot be fulfilled even by imports. Once onion arrives the next season, then only prices will start easing.
About 40,000 hectares of land are under onion cultivation in Nasik,” Patil added. Shivdas Patil, a farmer from Jalgaon, said he bought the onion seeds at Rs 4000 per kg for the upcoming season. “Last year, I had planted onion in two acres but heavy rain damaged the majority of the crop. Despite the damages, I not only recovered the expenses but also earned some profit.
I plan to increase land under onion plantation. Even, if I get half of the present rate, I will be happy.”
But Vijay Jwandia, a veteran farm leader, warned that farmers are normally tempted to go for crops that fetch prices in a given season. “But this leads to a glut and prices fall due to excess supply. Then, it will force farmers to go for other crops,” Jwandia added.