Mumbai, December 20: In a major decision taken for the welfare of farmers, the state of Maharashtra has 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.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis led cabinet meeting decided on the financial relief consisting of an ex-gratia payment at the rate of Rs 200 per quintal for the kitchen staple sold between November 1 and December 15, 2018. The compensation will cover a total of 75 lakh metric tons of onions.
Off lately, the onion farmers have been expressing their displeasure on low price for their product by various means of protest in Maharashtra. Taking the decision to give relief to the onion farmers, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis asked the officials concerned to preparing a comprehensive policy for onions.
The onion farmers last month as a protest against the central government had sent their earnings to Prime Minister and Chief Minister. 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 (PMO) Prime Minister's Relief Fund as a protest. The Prime Minister’s Office 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.
This comes despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet approved the Agriculture Export Policy 2018 with the aim of doubling the income of the farmers.