After calling off their 13-day strike late on Monday, the onion dealers resumed the prized vegetable’s auction at all the APMCs in the district on Tuesday morning, bringing some respite ahead of the Navratri and Diwali festivities.
Nearly 100 trucks loaded with onions began lining up at several APMCs since sunrise to participate in the auctions as word of the strike pullout spread, including at Lasalgaon, Asia’s largest onion marketyard.
According to a local trader, there will likely be an auction today for 75,000–80,000 quintals of onions, or almost half the daily trading capacity at these APMCs.
After meeting with the merchants to discuss their requests and to reassure them that the government was dedicated to satisfying them, the situation improved.
According to Khandu Deore, president of the Nashik District Onion Traders Association, the traders made the choice “in the interest of the farmers, who have been severely harmed by the 13-day strike, amid worries of a scarcity and price increases in the retail markets.
However, Deore said, “We have given the government one month to think about our demands, and if these are not met, we shall again turn to a strike.”
Recall that throughout the last week, the Maharashtra government and the Centre met with the onion dealers in an effort to find a solution, but there was no mutually agreeable one. The tomato crisis, which devastated consumers when prices of the red, fleshy produce exceeded Rs 200/kg between June and August, began to ease after September, and has finally stabilized to respectable levels for the last three weeks, was the first significant vegetable crisis to strike the markets.