Onion traders are going on an indefinite strike in Nashik in protest against government policies

About 500 onion traders in Nashik on Wednesday went on an indefinite strike against the government’s policy suspending all onion auctions held by the district’s Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMC). Nashik has Asia’s largest onion market at Lasalgaon and the strike is likely to affect onion supplies in other states. Traders claim that the government agencies – National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (Nafed) and  National Cooperative Consumers’ Federation of India Limited (NCCF) – procure onions from farmers in Nashik and sell them to APMCs in other states at much lower prices. prices than what retailers pay mass buyers.  

  In the first phase, Nafed and NCCF have acquired three lakhs of onions and they will buy another two lakhs from Nashik. President Khandu Deore of the Nashik District Onion Traders Association told the media that traders are urging Nafed and NCCF to release their buffer stocks in retail markets instead of  APMCs. Additionally, traders demanded that the Center review the 40 percent onion export tax imposed last month. However, onion growers opposed the strike, saying onion growers were already suffering from price fluctuations and the traders’ strike would further add to farmers’ problems.

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