Mumbai, Oct 31 (PTI) Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackerayhas urged the Centre to increase to 1,500 metric tonnes the onion stock holding limit for wholesale traders in the state, who purchase the key kitchen staple directly from farmers.
In a letter written to Union Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Minister Piyush Goyal on October 30, Thackeray said the wholesale traders have stopped purchasing onion from farmers due to the very limited stock limit of 25 metric tonnes.
'This has stalled the supply chain from farmers to consumers, which has resulted in increase in prices of onion in the the retail market,' he said.
'Arrival of kharif onion is likely to begin from the first week of November. Kharif onion is highly perishable. If this onion is not purchased by traders due to the present cap on stock holding, farmers in Maharashtra will face huge losses,' he added.
In the last six months, onion farmers have already suffered due to the COVID-19 lockdown, the chief minister said, and urged that the stock limit be increased to 1,500 metric tonnes.
Thackeray said the limit of 25 metric tonnes for wholesale traders and two metric tonnes for retailershas caused severe hardships to onion farmers as well as traders.
Maharashtra is a leading producer of onion and it accounts for one third of the country's total production, he added.
'The state accounts for 80 per cent of the onion exports from India. In the last season, onion production was approximately 100 lakh metric tonnes,' Thackeray said.
'This year, excess rainfall and flooding in major onion-producing states, including Maharashtra, damaged the standing kharif crop and led to increase in prices in September-October 2020,' he said. PTI MR NP NP