Onion farmers hold stocks in hope of lifting of export ban

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.

PTI



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

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