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Maharashtra authorities raid premises of onion traders

PUNE: Maharashtra state government authorities on Thursday said the premises of onion traders at Lasalgaon and Pimpalgaon were checked in a drive to clamp down on hoarding and black marketing.

The move, however, has farmers worried that it may lead to a fall in onion prices, just when the kharif crop is ready to come to markets.

At present, onion wholesale prices are ruling at around Rs 14/kg, which is not a high rate considering farmers have been carrying this stock for six months now and have had about 50% losses due to rotting," said Jayadatta Holkar, chairman of Lasalgaon agricultural produce market committee (APMC).

Market representatives say that if the government wanted to check speculation, they should have raided when prices were at Rs 30/kg.

"Raids at this time can pull the rates down when farmers still have huge stocks and the new crop will start arriving after Dussehra," said Holkar.

Arrival of the kharif crop has started on a small scale in Maharashtra, Karnataka and other states.

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