Nashik (Maharashtra), Feb 9 (IANS) Hundreds of farmers took to the streets here Wednesday and blocked the busy Mumbai-Agra highway to protest against the fall in onion prices caused by the ban on its export, police said.
“Hundreds of farmers blocked the national highway near Pimpalgaon, Chandwad and Lasalgaon (three main vegetable markets of Nashik district) for a few hours,” a police officer said.
The protestors demanded the ban on onion export be lifted as it led to the fall in prices to Rs.500-700 per quintal.
The wholesale rates of onions December last year had shot up to Rs.6,300 per quintal in both Lasalgoan and Pimpalgaon markets.
“The ban on onion exports should now be lifted. Due to the ban, the sale of onions in the wholesale market has fallen tremendously,” vice president of National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation Changdeo Holkar said.
President of Onion Exporters’ Association Sohanlal Bhandari said: “The wholesale rates of onions have come down to as low as Rs.6-8 per kg. If this continues, the farmers will not even be able recover their production costs.”
Agriculture market analysts also noticed a sharp fall in prices of other vegetables owing to export surplus.
“Carrots that were sold for Rs.60 per kg are now being sold for only Rs.18 per kg. The price of green peas that was as high as Rs.150 per kg three weeks ago have reduced to only Rs.10 per kg,” said a Mumbai-based analyst.