Mumbai: Even when the state onion growers are forced to dispose of stock at the lower price, they are worried that the prices may further fall because of arrival of imported onion from Turkey and Egypt and fresh produce from various parts of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh. Onion growers from Nashik, Solapur and Sangli feared that the prices, which are ranging between Rs 1,700 per quintal and Rs 2,400 per quintal, will fall further with the arrival of more onions in the market.
Nashik based trader Nitin Jain told Free Press Journal, ‘’ There has been arrival of onions from producers from Maharashtra and also the second crop from Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh. The higher the inflow there is every chance of further reduction in prices. The arrival of onions from Turkey and Egypt further impacts the prices. The arrival of onions is quite high in almost all agriculture produce market committees in the state and farmers have left with little alternative to sell it at lower price.’’ He suggested the Centre should allow onion exports at the earliest as it will help farmers to dispose of produce at the competitive price.
‘’The Centre may lift a ban on onion export may be after a fortnight but it should soon release guidelines. Onion will be exported to Colombo, Gulf countries, Malaysia, Bangladesh and Nepal. Besides, there is a huge market in Sikkim too,” said Jain.
A trader from Solapur said onion prices have dropped by nearly Rs 3,000 per quintal in the last one month. Today, the maximum price of good quality onion in Solapur was Rs 2,600 per quintal. Onion was also sold at an average price of Rs 30-35 per kg in the Sangli market. Due to the continuous fall in onion prices, farmers are a worried lot.
‘’The Solapur Agricultural Produce Market Committee also found about 10 tonnes of onions imported from Egypt. Local onions have a pungent odour and taste. However, onions imported from Egypt do not taste like that. Egyptian onions taste like cucumbers. Therefore, there is not much demand for this onion in the Indian market. Therefore, the price of this onion in the market in Solapur was only Rs 1500 to 1700 per quintal,’’ he said. He, however, added that arrival of onion from Egypt has adversely impacted local onion prices.
In Sangli too, onions from Egypt and Turkey are being sold at Rs 22 per kg and its arrival has affected prices of local onions.