Bangalore: Karnataka Chief Minister D V
Sadananda Gowda has requested the Centre to consider lifting
the ban on all varieties of onions in the interest of growers
as prevailing prices in the State are not alarmingly high.
However, if the Centre feels the ban is still necessary in
the interest of consumers at large, it may not be made
applicable to two special varieties, Rose Onion and Indian
Small Onion mainly grown in Karnataka, which are not
domestically consumed and are meant for only export, he said.
"Thousands of Rose Onion and Indian Small Onion growers in
Karnataka will get relief if the above proposal is considered
favorably", he said in identical letters to Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh and Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma.
There are specific onion types "Rose Onion", also known as
"Bangalore Rose Onion" and Indian Small Onion, also known as
Pickle Onion and Guilty Onion among local exporters. "These varieties are totally exported and their domestic consumption is negligible", he said.
Bangalore Rose Onion is mainly grown in Chikballapur and
Kolar Districts and Indian Small Onion is concentrated in
Chitradurga and Chikmagalur Districts. They are grown in about
23000 hectares with production of 4.40 lakh tonnes.
These onions are characterised by small size, deep rose/pink
colour, right scales and strong pungency and are mainly
exported to Sri Lanka, Malaysia and other South East Asia. The
farming prospects of these farmers are entirely dependent on
export trade, as they are not marketed and consumed in India.
The ban has adversely affected Rose Onion and Indian Small
Onion growers in Karnataka,as it has totally sealed process s
and avenues of export, and as a result, rates of these onions
have started falling and farmers are in terrible financial
distress and agony, Gowda added.