In a bid to control market prices of onions that were spiralling downwards in the state, Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar on Tuesday said he had asked chief minister Prithviraj Chavan to take advantage of a Central scheme.
He said he has sent a proposal to his ministry that would allow the state to offer a minimum support price for onions.
Pawar said the Centre had introduced a market intervention scheme that allowed the states to decide prices of agriculture produce in light of sudden market fluctuations and protect the farmer.
According to the scheme, the state government can decided a market price for the produce and get 50 per cent support from the centre if it incurred losses in such purchase.
Onion producing regions including Nashik, Dhule, Sangli, Satara have witnessed a drop in onion price to Rs 300 a quintal.
Pawar also ticked off the government for not showing initiative pointing out that at least three other states had already sent proposals to his ministry for onions, potatoes and turmeric.
“I spoke to chief minister Chavan today and told him that the state should take initiative and send a proposal for onions,” Pawar said.
“The Karnataka government sent a proposal to have MSP of Rs 600 for onions. I have already cleared that. Today, I cleared a proposal from UP to have a MSP for potatoes,’’ added Pawar.
The onion prices have been declining because of existing storage of onions resulting from high export prices through last year and a good current supply. This is expected to hit farmers hard.