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MSTC plans reverse auction of onions to aid Nasik farmers

State-owned MSTC Ltd would start reverse e-auction of onions to aid Nasik farmers who have been reeling under price crash following bumper production, an official said on Wednesday.

Mother Dairy would lend support to the endeavour by procuring 20 tonnes of onion a day, the official said.

“We have decided to support the onion farmers of Nasik. We have technology in place to carry out auction of agri commodities. Our officers are already there to execute a plan of offering a market for the farmers,” MSTC chairman and managing director BB Singh said on Wednesday on the sidelines of an MSME conclave organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

Reserve auction is a type of auction in which the roles of buyer and seller are reversed and the lowest price discovery is made from a base price.

Onion prices in Maharashtra’s Nasik fell below Rs 2 a kg forcing farmers to dump the crop, while the same commodity sells for Rs 25-30 a kg in markets such as Delhi-NCR and Kolkata.

“We will commence reverse e-auction of the crop for Mother Dairy in the next 4-5 days with a floor price of not less than Rs 6-8 a kg which we hope to help better price realisation in the period of crisis,” he said.

The input cost for cultivation of a kilogram of onion has been fixed at Rs 8.50 by the Directorate of Onion and Garlic Research (DOGR).

Mother Dairy has assured to procure 20 tonnes of onions daily to sell them through its 150-odd retail outlets in the Delhi-NCR region.

Singh said MSTC is in talks to engage more buyers like Spencers, Reliance Fresh and other organised retailers to create demand for the onions grown in Nasik. However, MSTC is yet to receive any positive feedback from private retail chains of the country in the venture, Singh said.

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