Onion Prices Fall After Export Ban

The government banned the export of onions after prices shot up in the domestic market. Farmers and politicians across the state of Maharashtra stage protests against the decision.

Why the export ban?

The export of onions increased significantly in the lockdown period. In brief, the exports increased from 8 million tonnes to about 12 million tonnes this year. Further, analysts noted a 30% increase in the April-July period when compared to the previous year. As a result, the prices of onions increased massively. Accordingly, the retail price increased by 37%, and the wholesale price saw a 43% increase. Along with this, the heavy monsoon in south India also damaged crop and supplies. Therefore, the government banned the export of onion to control the prices.

Lift the Ban, Urge Leaders

In June, the government introduced three ordinances to remove the hassles that farmers face to get reasonable prices. Unfortunately, many farmers feel that government backtracked on it when they banned exports as the prices went up in Lasalgaon, Maharashtra. Accordingly, this will cause a lot of distress to farmers as many orders have to be cancelled, and investments will also be lost.

Devendra Fadnavis, the CM of Maharashtra and Sharad Pawar, the NCP leader wrote to the Union Minister Piyush Goyal asking him to revoke the ban. Mr Pawar emphasized that it’ll be a big blow to India’s overseas image and will benefit other countries to take India’s place.

Protests Across India on Export Ban

The export ban evoked protests all over the country. Following the ban, Mr Ajit Pawar, the Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra termed the central government “anti-farmer”. Further, he highlighted that the government banned exports at a time when farmers were getting reasonable prices. Additionally, Balasaheb Thorat, the revenue minister, mentioned that his party would fight against this injustice. Along with this, the Congress party workers staged demonstrations against the ban in Pune, Thane and Solapur.

The farmers growing the “Bangalore Rose” variety of onions came under the most pressure as 90% of their produce is exported to South-East Asian countries. In the previous export ban, this variety had an exemption and exporters are now urging for the same. SRV Ramasamy, director of Ramasamy Exports and Imports Pvt. Ltd said that nearly 40 containers of the onions are stuck at the port. Furthermore, he demands an extension for the farmers to finish their exports.

In conclusion, the government needs to find a balance between protecting farmer and consumer interests.

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