Indian onion farmers hit by state meddling

NEW DELHI, Nov 28 (AsiaPulse) – Moves by the Indian
government to further reduce the export price of onion from
US$350 a tonne stems from a steep 24 per cent decline in
overseas shipments of the staple. India’s onion export has declined by about 213,000 tonnes
during April to November 20 this year, agri-cooperative Nafed,
a principal government agency which grants NOC for onion
shipments, said.

Close on the heels of the government bringing down the
export price of onion by US$125 a tonne to US$350 a tonne last
week, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar on tuesday said there
has been discussion on further lowering the MEP to boost
exports of onion.

The country had exported 1,118,426 tonnes between April and
November 30 last year, the sources said. Only 9,05,150 tonnes
of the bulb had been send abroad between April and November 15,
2011, a fall of almost 24 per cent.

The sources attributed the drop in exports to high Minimum
Export Price (MEP) and inconsistent trade policy of the
government.

“The export price of onion in the international markets is
ruling below US$300 a tonne due to which there has been lesser
number of buyers for Indian onion,” NHRDF Director R.P Gupta
told