Why are Nashik Onion Traders on a Strike? What are their demands?

On September 21, 2023, the onion traders in Nashik, Maharashtra commenced a strike and are eager to continue it unless their needs and demands are met. What is the strike about and what are their demands?

Astha Pasricha
Oct 4, 2023, 15:29 IST
Why are Nashik Onion Traders on a Strike? What are their demands?
Why are Nashik Onion Traders on a Strike? What are their demands?

The Onion traders and commission agents of Nashik, Maharashtra, on September 30, 2023, took the call to go forward with their currently ongoing strike. The strike is against the export duties recently imposed on the export of vegetables, along with some other issues surrounding the sale of vegetables.

Of the 15 wholesale markets in Nashik, commission against and the traders have been on a rigorous strike since September 21. They are keen to continue with their strike until all their demands are met. They demand the government to rescind the duty. Have a glance at everything related to the Nashik onion strike.

The demands and the reason behind the strike

On September 21, the commission agents and traders of a total of 15 wholesale markets in Nashik took the decision to initiate a strike to fight against the government’s recent decision to impose an export duty of 40 percent. One of the key demands of the traders is the removal of this duty.

Moreover, the traders also wish that agencies such as the National Cooperative Consumer Federation (NCCF0 and the National Cooperative Agricultural Marketing Federation (NAFED) not sell the onions procured from the farmers in retail destinations and wholesale markets. Traders are of the view that while the NCCF and NAFED can cut their costs, the traders can’t, and thus it is difficult for them to compete with these agencies in the aspect of prices.

The traders also demand a decline in the market cess levied on the services extended on traders, levied by the wholesale markets. However, the traders stated that the cess levied in Nashik was actually too high.

Initially, the traders held meetings with the market committees. However, when they failed, the traders took the decision to boycott auctions in the 15 markets of the area. Even after ten days, no action was taken.

What does the government have to say?

Government officials stated that a 40 percent export duty was imposed to control onion exports. This would further ensure substantial availability of onions in the domestic market. At present, there are lower-than-normal levels of onion stock available. Moreover, the government also stated that the demand for NCCF and NAFED to not sell in the open market is actually untenable. 

“We had taken the conscious decision to offload our wares in the markets, where price escalation was high, to control the price. Also, we do not have any separate retail channels to offload our procured onions,” expressed a Ministry of Consumer Affairs officer.

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