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Maharashtra: Farmer Goes 70 km to Sell 512 kg Onions, Receives Cheque of Rs 2 in Return

Wholesale rates for onions have plummeted due to a bumper crop in Maharashtra and all other onion-producing states.

Ayushi Sikarwar
Onions (File Image)

A 58-year-old onion farmer from Borgaon village in the Barshi taluka of Solapur district in Maharashtra, recently travelled 70 kilometres to the Solapur APMC to sell nearly 512 kilogrammes of his onions. The crop was sold to him for just Re 1 per kg.

Chavan's overall profit after all deductions was just Rs. 2.49, and the payment was made in the form of a post-dated cheque for Rs 2, which he will only be able to cash in 15 days from now. Due to the fact that bank transactions are frequently in round numbers, the 49 paise balance was not included in the cheque. The farmer believes it is not worth the effort to take this balance straight from the trader.

A discouraged Chavan told that he received Re 1 per kilogramme of scallions this year, though the APMC dealer further deducted Rs 509.50 from the total of Rs 512 for transportation costs, head-loading, and weighing fees, noting that he had made Rs 20 per kg the previous year.

In the last three to four years, the cost of seeds, fertiliser, and pesticides has increased. This time, I invested nearly Rs 40,000 to produce only about 500kg of onions, he claimed.

The Solapur APMC, who purchased the onions, explained the reasoning behind the decision to issue a post-dated cheque for Rs 2 and noted that the board had computerised the process of providing receipts and cheques.

Therefore, Chavan's cheque had a post-dated date. It doesn't matter how much money is on the cheque; this is standard procedure, he continued, "We've also issued cheques for such small sums in the past."

Experts estimate that producers only receive up to 25% of high-quality produce, while about 30 per cent of the produce is of poor quality, and the remaining 70 per cent is of medium quality.

Wholesale rates for onions have plummeted due to a bumper crop in Maharashtra and all other onion-producing states. Farmers like Chavan across the state are sceptical about even making back their production expenses.

 The nation's biggest onion mandi, Lasalgaon APMC in Nashik, has seen a nearly 70 per cent decrease in wholesale onion prices over the last two months.

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