According to a report published by the DNA [read here], the traders make a killing due to the price rise, but the farmers hardly make any profits. The report suggests that only 10 to 15 per cent of onion farmers sell their produce at the Lasalgaon Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) at RS 50-60 per kilo. The remaining produce is sold at an average of Rs 10 to 30 per kilo.
On the other hand, traders who sell onions to cities like Delhi, Mumbai or Pune mark the onions at Rs 50-60 per kilo as their base price and the consumers end up paying Rs 80 to 100 a kilo. This includes their transport and labour charges.
Officials allege that this is pure exploitation of the consumers, due to which neither the farmer nor the consumer reap any benefits.
While auctioning, only 10-20 quintals is purchased at highest rate
Nanasaheb Patil, Chairman of Lasalgaon APMC alleges that there is a common perception that due to price hike, farmers earn huge profits which is not true. "Whenever there is an auction in the market, traders buy 10 to 20 quintal at the highest rate out of the 100-150 quintal. The rest is still purchased at the average price," he says.
Onion sellers however justify the price hike saying that, since the onions are stored for many days, some of the produce gets spoilt, hence to make up for the losses they increase the price.
Some even argue saying that consumers always like to pick up the fresh ones. Even if one onion is slightly damaged or dented, they throw it away and the pile of damaged onion increases, which in the end is thrown. So in order to make up for the loss the price is hiked.