Onion farmers continue 'rasta roko' agitation

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Nashik, Jan 4 (UNI) Despite the State Government's decision to make available four rakes (one each for Kherwadi, Niphad, Lasalgaon and Yeole) for today and three rakes for the district, everyday from January 5 onwards, the ''rasta roko'' agitation by the onion producing farmers continued in the district today.

The agitations were held at Yeole, Kalwan and Sinnar talukas of the district under the leadership of Shiv Sena leaders Bajirao Bodke and Kishore Sonawane.

The agitators were detained by the police and later released.

Though farmers participated in large numbers, the agitations were less intense in comparison to the earlier ones. This was due to the decision, to provide rakes for transportation of onions from the district which would help in releasing the stocks thereby reducing the flow of onions in the local market which in turn would help in increasing the prices, so that farmers can get at least their production cost.

In another important decision the state government has also increased the grant for onion storage rooms by Rs 500. It was Rs 1000 per tonne earlier. The state has been granted Rs 15 crore for the onion storage rooms, out of which, Nashik district alone will get Rs 4.5 crore.

A proposal to purchase onions for Rs 500 per quintal minimum support price has been submitted to the Centre. Request has also been made to the Railway Ministry to classify onions into 'B' category rather than 'D' category of goods transportation preference.

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