Unhappy with the Centre’s decision to impose an export duty of 40 per cent on onions until December 31, farmers at the Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) of Lasalgaon in Nashik continued to protest on the third day, and onion auctions remained halted.
A notification issued by the Finance Ministry on August 19 stated that they have imposed a 40 per cent export duty on onions until December 31, 2023. “The government imposes a 40 per cent duty on onion exports until December 31,” the Ministry stated.
Protesting farmers said the central government’s decision to impose a 40 per cent duty on the export of onions until December 31 will adversely affect the onion growers and their exports. It will spoil their chances of getting a good price for the onion, they said. Farmers also alleged they were not getting the rate of Rs 2,410 per quintal when procurement resumed today, as promised by the centre on Wednesday.
Chairman of the Agriculture Produce Market Committee, Kisan Dhange, said that they were demanding the purchase of onions at a rate of 2,410 rupees per quintal. “Until the government does not purchase the produce at this rate (Rupees 2410 per Quintal) the Onion market will not be opened,” said Dhange.
A farmer speaking to ANI claimed, “Earlier in a meeting, we were assured that onions would be purchased at the rate of 2,410 rupees per quintal, but today, when the market opened, a rate of 1,500 to 1,700 rupees per quintal was being offered.”
“So, we are protesting against it and have halted traffic on the Delhi-Bengaluru highway. The Government should meet our demands,” added the farmer. Earlier on August 11, the central government started releasing the staple vegetable from its buffer stock. The central government had earlier decided it would maintain 3 lakh tonnes of onions in the 2023–24 season as buffer stock.
In 2022–23, the government maintained 2.51 lakh tonne onion as buffer stock. Buffer stock is maintained to meet any exigencies and for price stabilization if rates go up significantly during the lean supply season.