india

Onion export ban is an injustice to farmers: Mahuva APMC chairman

Mahuva APMC is one the biggest wholesale market of onions in Gujarat and sets price trends. On Wednesday, red onion prices remained in the range of Rs 760 to Rs 2,855 per quintal. In the retail market of Rajkot, onion is being sold for around Rs 30 per kg.

TWO DAYS after the Central government issued a notification prohibiting the export of onion, Ghaysham Patel, chairman of one of the largest onion wholesale markets of Gujarat, wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi stating that the Centre’s move does injustice to farmers, is premature and therefore, should be rolled back.

“I humbly submit that the ban on exports of onions is unjust, unbearable and improper to farmers. We request to lift the ban forthwith. The export ban is premature and unrealistic,” Patel, chairman of agricultural produce market committee (APMC), Mahuva in Bhavnagar district, stated in his letter to the PM.

Mahuva APMC is one the biggest wholesale market of onions in Gujarat and sets price trends. On Wednesday, red onion prices remained in the range of Rs 760 to Rs 2,855 per quintal. In the retail market of Rajkot, onion is being sold for around Rs 30 per kg.

However, Patel said that onion prices generally remain high during September-November and that periodic price appreciation should be allowed to compensate farmers who sell their produce at much lower rates during the rest of the year.

“The onion coming to the market these days is the onion stored largely by farmers. During long storage time, onions lose weight while some bulbs are lost to rotting and sprouting. Therefore, Rs 20 per kg is the cultivation cost. The prices have gone up recently due to rotting in stored onions and damage caused by rains to the crop in southern states. As farmers have suffered crop losses due to rain, it is natural for prices to go up and such a development is in the interest of farmers,” he reasoned. “Farmers had sold their onions at half the price of cultivation cost during the April to August 15 period and had suffered huge losses. Therefore, it is entirely inappropriate to prohibit exports when prices have become remunerative for such farmers.”

The farmer leader said that farmers and traders store around 50,000 tonnes of onions in summer so that it can be marketed during monsoon. However, this storing is done at the risk of 100 per cent loss due to sprouting and rotting. “The government does not do such stocking for monsoon. It is essential therefore that those who do stocking and take the risk are rewarded.

Patel also underlined that the government had not intervened when farmers had to sell their onions cheap from April to August . “Farmers get no support when prices of onions crash in the country. Hence, prohibiting exports when prices go up is an injustice to farmers,” said the APMC chairman, adding that such price rises, which benefit farmers, occur once in two to three years and that the government and consumers should accept it.

📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines

For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App.

Source: Read Full Article