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Maharashtra farmers send onions to PM Modi to protest against drop in prices

Twitter: @the_news_21

A group of farmers from Ahmednagar in Maharashtra have sent onions by post to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking relief from dropping prices and lifting of the ban on export of the crop.

An onion consignment has been parcelled to the prime minister, farmers belonging to Shetkari Sanghatana and Shetkari Vikas Mandal said on Monday.

“Our demand is the Union government must immediately lift the ban on the export of onions and other agricultural produce. This will help open up the international market for farmers. We also seek Rs 1,000 per quintal as compensation for farmers who sold their produce last year,” one of the farmers said.

“The input cost is very high. Farmers have to pay for fertilizers, pesticides, petrol and diesel as per global market rates. However, when it comes to selling the produce, we have to sell at Indian prices,” he claimed.

Meanwhile, a farmer in Nashik district of Maharashtra lit a bonfire of the crop in protest against the government’s policies and to highlight the plight of growers.

The protest was held on the day of the Holika festival which is marked by the burning of bonfires in Maharashtra.

Onion cultivators are battling a crisis as the prices of the kitchen staple have taken a hit at the Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) in Lasalgaon, the largest wholesale onion market in Asia, in Nashik.

The price per kilogram of onion came down to Rs 2 to Rs 4, which angered the growers, who had stopped the auction at the APMC last week for a day.

Krishna Dongre, a farmer from Mathulthan village in Yeola taluka who burnt the onion crop cultivated on one-and-half acres of land, had printed an invitation card announcing the agitation which had gone viral on social media.

“The Union and state governments have left the farmers to their fate. In their power struggle, they do not pay attention to whether the farmer survives or dies. This is a black day not only for Maharashtra but also for the nation as a farmer has been forced to light the bonfire of onions,” he said and blamed the policies of the government.

Farmers from nearby villages were present at the protest.


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