At a time when falling onion prices have brought tears to farmers in Maharashtra's Nashik, state-run MSTC Ltd is planning to commence reverse e-auction of the crop on behalf of Mother Dairy in the next five-six days to provide better price realisation to farmers, an official said on Wednesday.
Mother Dairy is expected to procure 20 tonnes of onions daily to sell them in the Delhi-NCR region, the official said.
"Mother Dairy has agreed to sell onions through their 150 odd outlets in the NCR. They will procure 20 tonnes of onion on a daily basis," MSTC Chairman B.B Singh said, adding that the e-commerce company is also trying to engage more buyers like Spencer's, Reliance Fresh and other organised retailers.
"Maybe, in the next 5-6 days, we will be commencing reverse e-auction. It will take about four days for trucks to reach the capital for delivery," he said.
The city-headquartered company has tied up with 28 farmers' producer companies at Nashik, he said on the sidelines of the Confederation of Indian Industry event here.
"28 FPCs will be participating at the e-auction, hosted by us on behalf of Mother Dairy," he said. There will be a reserve price under which bidding would not be allowed and this reserve price would be set by the farmers, Singh said, adding that the terms and conditions are being finalised.
He said onions are being sold in the retail markets in a range of Rs 20-Rs 27 per kg while farmers are struggling to secure even Rs 2-Rs 4 per kg. The input cost for the cultivation of a kilo of onions has been fixed at Rs 8.50 by the Directorate of Onion and Garlic Research (DOGR), a constituent body of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).
Farmers in the country's onion-growing regions are appalled at the bizarre market dynamics that keep its retail price hovering between Rs 20-Rs 30 a kilogram while they struggle to get even 10-20 per cent of the final cost.
(With inputs from agencies.)