Farmers demand lift on onion export ban

Bhavnagar: A call for the lift of the ban on the export of onions has been made by farmers in the state. As winter crops enter the market, onion prices have crashed across the state, directly affecting the living of farmers.

Last September, onion prices had skyrocketed due to a shortage of supply and were being sold for Rs100 per kilo.
This had prompted the central government to enforce a ban on the export of onions, in order to divert that supply to domestic channels.

Nonetheless, thousands of metric tons of onion were imported from Turkey in December.

Now that farmers have flooded the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) with onions, prices have crashed and the crop has been hardly fetching Rs7-14 per kilo.

The current prices are way below the production cost, which has disheartened the farmers.

Bhavnagar resident Ratilalbhai Patel said, “The months of October and November fetched very good prices on the crop (onion). We paid more to acquire good seeds and they fetched us very good prices.

Farmers usually cultivate onion to earn good money. But now that the situation has reversed, we face a reality where we won’t be able to recover the investment we put into cultivation. This can only be stopped if the ban on export is lifted.”

Farmers have cried foul over the government’s inaction when it comes to their survival.

They alleged that the government swung into action when consumers felt the pinch of price rise, by enforcing the export ban. But now that the farmers face loss, the government has chosen not to take any action.