Onion farmers in the state have found themselves once again in distress after a gap of eight years, but the amount of subsidy offered to them by the state government remains the same.
Onion farmers in the state have found themselves once again in distress after a gap of eight years, but the amount of subsidy offered to them by the state government remains the same. Back in 2008, the state government provided them Rs 100 per quintal. Eight years later, the government plans to offer the same amount.
Irked by this, farmers have said that the state government is “making fun of them” by offering such a measly subsidy, with which, they will not be able to recover even cost of production.
The government move has been prompted by sharp fall in onion prices owing to excess production coupled with unsold stock, and the proposal prepared by the marketing department will be tabled before the state cabinet for approval next week.
State officials said that the subsidy will be given 65 lakh quintal of onion which has been sold by local Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMCs). “The Centre has already agreed to bear 50 per cent of the financial burden, which will be caused by levying subsidy,” said a senior official from the marketing department.
However, experts have said that the subsidy offered is not at all adequate. “It is a mockery of the word subsidy. The government is giving it just for the sake of giving. What relief will farmers get with just Rs 100 per quintal, when they are facing huge losses ” asked Jaydatta Holkar, chairman of Lasalgaon APMC.
“In the year 2008, onion farmers were given a subsidy of Rs 100 when they were in trouble. Does the government think there has been no change in the situation in the last eight years The state officials should realise that it was a summer crop of onion, whose weight has already been reduced by half after storing it for four months,” he added.
Nanasaheb Patil, director, National Agricultural Co-operative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED), said that the state government should have given a subsidy of Rs 500 per quintal to onion farmers.
“The grant of Rs 100 will not serve any purpose. It will not help farmers to recover even the production cost. This year, farmers have faced losses in all three crops of onion. The subsidy will not provide any relief to them,” he said.