Onion farmers hold stocks in hope of lifting of export ban
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Last Updated: Monday, February 14, 2011, 15:18
Nashik: With prices of onion crashing to Rs 4-10 a kg in the wholesale, farmers in the main producing region Nashik in Maharashtra are holding their stocks on hopes of lifting of export ban on the kitchen staple to earn handsome returns.

Onion farmers of Nashik, who have been blocking roads and staging sit-ins for the past 10 days following a drastic downturn in the price of the important veggie, have almost halved the supply of onions to the APMC (Agriculture Produce Market Committee) market today, official sources said.

Against normal supply of 140-150 tonnes, the arrival today in main markets of Lasalgaon, Pimpalgaon and Manmad in Nashik have come down to almost half, R.K.Gupta, Director, NHRDF (National Horticulture Research Development Foundation), an arm of Nafed which monitors onion price daily, said.

"It seems onion farmers are holding their stocks in anticipation of total opening up of export of the vegetable shortly," Gupta said.

Following farmers agitation, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and Union Agriculture minister Sharad Pawar have urged the Centre to completely lift the export ban of onions.

"The Government is giving its attention at the highest level, to what has been said by the Maharashtra Chief Minister and Union Agriculture Minister (Sharad Pawar)," Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma had said in Delhi last week.

The government had prohibited transhipment of onion abroad in December last year to rein in prices of the bulb in the domestic market which had soared to Rs 70-85 a kg in the retail in the national capital and other cities.

In a crucial meeting of a ministerial panel on Food in Delhi last week, the government had allowed export of two varieties of onions--Bangalore Rose onions and Krishnapuram.

This fuelled hope among growers of a complete lifting of the export ban on onions.


First Published: Monday, February 14, 2011, 15:18

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