The highest rate of Rs 2,400 was seen in Chandwad while the average was Rs 2,100.
Nashik: After tomatoes, it is onions, which are straining household budgets to the limit. Onion rates jumped as much as Rs 450 per quintal on Thursday over the previous day’s rates to touch a high of Rs 2,100 per quintal in the Chandwad Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC), even as angry farmers stopped auctions in Lasalgaon APMC as rates fell even while the auctions were on.
Sources, who refused to be named, claimed that onion auctions peaked at Rs 2,800 per quintal on Thursday morning and suddenly dropped to Rs 1,600 by afternoon, angering the farmers, who stopped the auction.
Official rates in Lasalgaon on Thursday ranged from a minimum of Rs 800 to a maximum of Rs 2,100 and averaged at Rs 1,900, while in Pimpalgaon APMC, the rates per quintal ranged from a minimum of Rs 800 to a maximum of Rs 2000 and averaged at Rs 1700. The highest rate of Rs 2,400 was seen in Chandwad while the average was Rs 2,100.
This increase in rates was predicted by The Asian Age, last month. Chandwad APMC chairman Dr Atmaram Kumbharde-Patil said that rates were in good range and would continue due to demand from upcountry. “We have requested farmers to go normally and not to glut the market. Today we received 15,000 quintals. If farmers flood the markets, the rates will fall,” he said.
Lasalgaon APMC officebearers were ‘unreachable’ for comments on the Lasalgaon auctions, which resumed after a few hours. Reliable sources claimed that merchants from North India had arrived in large numbers to purchase onion. To bring out more farmers, some merchants increased the rates and then dropped them.
Farmer Dinkar Aher-Patil said that the present Unhal variety of onions were in short supply, “Farmers are bringing out an average of 10 to 15 quintals to the APMCs and that’s all that they have. We appeal to the government that it should not intervene and stop exports. When the rates fall, no one intervenes.”