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Rs 150 cr relief to onion growers in Maharashtra

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Maharashtra Government on Thursday announced Rs 150 crore as relief to onion farmers.

The decision by the state cabinet came amid reports about farmers selling freshly harvested onions at as low as Rs 1.50 a kg in Maharashtra, the top producer of the bulb in the country.

The financial relief consists of an ex-gratia payment at the rate of Rs 200 per quintal (with an upper limit of 200 quintal per onion farmer) for the kitchen staple sold between November 1 and December 15, 2018.

Principal secretary (agricultural marketing) Anoop Kumar said the decision will be applicable to 75 lakh metric tonne of onions.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis asked the officials concerned to preparing a comprehensive policy for onions.

Last month, farmer Sanjay Sathe, from Nashik district, had sent his onion sale earnings of Rs 1,064, after selling 750 kg of his produce in a wholesale market, to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) as a protest.

The PMO had later returned the farmer’s money order.

The farmer had said his intention was to prompt the government to take some steps to ease the financial stress that farmers were suffering because of the low prices.

Another farmer from Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar district, Shreyas Abhale, had sent a money order of Rs 6 to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis as a mark of protest against the crashing prices of onion and the paltry returns.

Abhale had said that after selling 2,657 kg onions at the rate of Rs 1 per kg at the Sangamner wholesale market in the district and adjusting market expenses, he was left with only Rs 6.

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