Agri Business

Andhra Pradesh farmers want export ban on KP onions lifted

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 20, 2020 Published on January 20, 2020

Representative image   -  PTI

Farmers from Andhra Pradesh who grow rose onions (locally called K P onions) have urged the Centre to lift the export ban on this variety of onions, which are specially cultivated for exports. Significantly, the same variety of onions grown in Karnataka is already exempt from export ban with the B S Yediyurappa government making a representation in October last year.

In September last year, the government decided to ban exports of the kitchen staple vegetable as there was a 26 per cent shortfall in production on account of heavy rains.

But this blanket ban has hit the export of rose onions, which apart from a few districts in Rayalseema region of Andhra Pradesh, are grown in parts of Karnataka. In a letter written to Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Sunday, Consortium of Indian Farmers' Associations (CIFA) and K.P. Onion Farmer Association, urged the government to lift the ban immediately.

"The K.P. onion (rose onion) size is very small and (is) exclusively cultivated for export purpose and not consumed locally," B Madanamohan Reddy, CIFA Secretary and others said in the letter adding that they were exporting this small onion variety to countries like Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka every year. Unfortunately the exports were banned this year due to general onion crisis in the country, affecting the farmers adversely. Later, the ban was lifted on Bangalore Rose Onions through a notification issued in late October and allowed its export till November 30, 2019.

According to the farmers, rose onions are cultivated over an area of 2,000 hectares in Dr YSR, Prakasam, Kurnool and Ananthpur districts in the State. Because of the ban, the farmers said they were struggling to clear the stocks at a better price. They asked the government to lift the ban immediately as the crop is to perish in next 10 days, resulting in irreparable loss to a few thousand farmers pushing them further into debt trap.

"We request your good office to lift the ban on KP onion exports and to get the permission from the Govt of India to export between January 25 and march 31 so that the crop which is ready will be exported normally as every year," they said.

Published on January 20, 2020
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