Agri Business

Onion export ban to be lifted on Mar 15

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 02, 2020

Onions are loaded onto a truck at the Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) wholesale market in Lasalgaon, Maharshtra, India   -  Dhiraj Singh

Piyush Goyal tweetsamid protests by Nashik farmers

The government would lift the ban on onion exports on March 15, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said in a tweet on Monday.

The decision to allow onion exports, which was banned since September last year, was taken at a meeting of the Group of Ministers constituted under the chairmanship of Home Minister Amit Shah.

The lifting of export ban will help farmers get better prices for their rabi onions, which are expected to arrive in the market in huge quantities this month. According to news reports, the expected quantum of onions in March and April is 41 lakh tonnes and 86 lakh tonnes, respectively, as against 28 lakh tonnes and 61 lakh tonnes in same months last year. The government resorted to the ban last year as the retail prices spiked due to the poor kharif crop on account of heavy rains and floods in onion-growing areas.

PTI adds from Nashik: Farmers in several parts of Nashik district in Maharashtra agitated on Monday over falling onion prices, with an official informing that average per quintal price for Monday was ₹1,450 at Lasalgaon, the country’s largest market for the kitchen staple.

Road blockades and protests were held in Lasalgaon, Dewla, Pimpalgaon, Yeola and Andersul in the district, due to which auctions for the day were halted, officials said.

Onion prices increased by ₹300 per quintal on an average at Lasalgaon APMC after reports came in, on February 27, that a ban on its exports had been lifted by the Centre, officials said.

“However, a notification on the lifting of the export ban is yet to arrive, leading to fall in prices, which resulted in protests and agitations by farmers. Onions were auctioned at ₹900 minimum, ₹1,652 maximum and ₹1,450 average per quintal at Lasalgaon AMPC today,” an official said.

In comparison, onion prices were ₹851 minimum, ₹1,982 maximum and ₹1,825 average on Saturday, he added.

The fall in prices led to angry members of Maharashtra Onion Growers’ Association and APMC farmers stopping auctions.

As part of the protests, farmers blocked the Nashik-Aurangabad highway while some threw their onion stock on the streets in Vinchur.

Published on March 02, 2020

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