Agri Business

Fearing dip in prices, farmers warn of agitation against onion imports

Our Bureau Pune | Updated on October 21, 2020

With reports of about 600 tonnes onion from Iran reaching the Indian market, rates of onion at Lasalgaon and other major markets in Maharashtra plummeted and angry farmers threatened to on agitation if import of the bulb crop continued.

At Lasalgaon, the average price of onion was ₹5,800 per quintal on Wednesday as compared to ₹7,100 per quintal on Tuesday. This had a spiralling impact on other markets as farmers rushed with their produce to APMC fearing a further decline in the price.

The Maharashtra State Onion Growers’ Association (MSOGS) has appealed to farmers against panic reaction and not rush to the market and sell onions at a lower price.

“During the lockdown, farmers have sold onion at the lowest rate, and at that time nobody bothered to intervene in the market. Now the government is encouraging imports as farmers are getting a good price. The government must not try to bring down onion rates,” said MSOGS’s President, Bharat Dighole.

Crop damage

As more onions are expected from Egypt, according to reports, farmers are gearing up to launch an agitation. Maharashtra has a 33 per cent share of India’s onion production but incessant and untimely rains in September-October this year has damaged the new crop and stored onions.

As the government is trying to keep onion prices in the retail market under control by importing onion, market experts predict import of onion will not have much impact, as of now. APMC officials at Lasalgaon said that past experience shows that consumers have preferred Indian onion over imported variety.

Published on October 21, 2020

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