India ends onion export ban after price collapse: report

Feb 18, 2011 (LBO) – India has ended a two month ban on onion exports, which sent traditional buyers to alternative sources, after wholesale prices crashed and farmers protested in the streets. India banned onion exports in December after earlier putting a minimum export price floor of 1,200 US dollars a tonne. After the price collapse the export price has been set at 600 dollars a tonne or about 28 India rupees a tonne, India’s Business Standard newspaper reported.

Prices in some wholesale markets had crashed to 4.00 rupees, the report said.

Heavy handed state interference in agricultural markets is common in South Asia.

Sri Lanka itself is suffering increasingly frequent bouts of high food prices due to restrictions of the rights of citizens to deal freely in food.

Sri Lanka’s poultry sector has been badly hit by restrictions on the import of maize to ‘help maize farmers’ and price controls on meat eventually resulting in the state-driven import of eggs and chicken meat.

Sri Lanka also has persistently higher rice prices than the rest of the world. The country also has malnutrition among children especially of protein intake.

Due to restrictions in the import