With wholesale prices of onion at Maharashtra’s Lasalgaon market crossing Rs 30/kg on Monday, the central government banned all export of the bulb “with immediate effect”. This was notified by The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) stating, “The export of all varieties of onions… is prohibited with immediate effect.”
This comes even as the government is set bringing laws in Parliament to remove all stockholding and movement restrictions on farm produce.
Onions have witnessed a constant rice in the price graph lately. Prices at Lasalgaon’s market in Nashik district started rising since early May. The recent appreciation of prices is mainly due to heavy August rain destroying the onion crop of north Karnataka, which was supposed to hit the market early September.
Many people working in the wholesale market in Nashik district, are of the further opinion that the rain caused extensive damage to stored onions in Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. “Thus, at present it is only Maharashtra which has stored market-ready onion and the supply crunch is set to continue until the new crop hits the market in November,” one of them said.
Regarding Monday’s decision, farmer leader Raju Shetti said, “This abrupt decision again proves the promises made by the central government were hollow. They had no intention of protecting the interests of farmers.” The founder of Swabhimani Paksha said that by prohibiting the export of onions, the central government has cheated farmers.
Calling the move illegal, Shetkari Sanghatana has called for an indefinite road closure in Maharashtra from Tuesday. The subsequent incidents are yet to be confirmed.