Maharashtra farmer gets ₹1,064 for 750 kg of onions; sends money to PM Modi in anger

An onion-grower from Maharashtra who had to sell his produce for little over ₹1 per kg has sent his earnings to the Prime Minister to mark his protest

Maharashtra farmer gets ₹1,064 for 750 kg of onions; sends money to PM Modi in anger
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NH Web Desk

An onion-grower from Maharashtra who had to sell his produce for little over ₹1 per kg has sent his earnings to the Prime Minister to mark his protest.

Sanjay Sathe, resident of Niphad tehsil in Nashik district, was among the handful of `progressive farmers' selected by the Union agriculture ministry for an interaction with then US president Barack Obama when he visited India in 2010.

Sathe said, "I produced 750 kg of onion in this season but was offered a rate of ₹1 per kg at Niphad wholesale market last week.

"Finally I could negotiate a deal for ₹1.40 per kg and received ₹1,064 for 750 kg, he said.

"It was painful to see such paltry returns on four months of toil. Hence I have donated ₹1,064 to Disaster Relief Fund of the PMO as a protest. I had to pay additional ₹54 for sending it by money order," he said.

Asked about his meeting with Obama eight years ago, he said, “I have been using a voice-based advisory service (run by a telecom operator) for farmers for a long time. I used to call them and get information about weather changes, and thus succeeded in increasing my production.

"I do not represent any political party. But I am angry because of the government's apathy towards our woes," he added.

The money order was sent on November 29 from the Niphad office of India Post. It was addressed to "Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India".

Nashik district in north Maharashtra accounts for 50 per cent of onion production in India.

Asked about his meeting with Obama eight years ago, he said, "I have been using a voice-based advisory service (run by a telecom operator) for farmers for a long time. I used to call them and get information about weather changes, and thus succeeded in increasing my production.

"I had also been invited to speak about my experiments in agriculture on local radio stations of AIR. So the agriculture ministry selected me to set up a stall at St Xavier's College in Mumbai when Obama visited it. I could speak to him for a couple of minutes through an interpreter."

This comes after November 30 Kisan Mukti March rally which was organised by All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee where thousands of farmers from various states held a march to Parliament Street demanding better remunerative prices for their crops, implementation of Swaminathan Commission and loan waivers.

With thousands of the farmer chanting “Dilli chalo”, leaders of the various Opposition party–Congress President Rahul Gandhi, Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party head Arvind Kejriwal and CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury shared the stage and slammed the ruling government against its anti-farmers’ policies.

Other leaders who extended their support to farmers were National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah, Loktantrik Janata Dal party leader Sharad Yadav, National Congress Party leader Sharad Pawar and others.

with inputs from PTI.

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