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Business News/ News / India/  Over 50 onion farmers detained in Nashik ahead of PM Modi's visit: ‘Sharad Pawar to Thackeray, no one spoke for us’
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Over 50 onion farmers detained in Nashik ahead of PM Modi's visit: ‘Sharad Pawar to Thackeray, no one spoke for us’

The farmers in Nashik had planned to stage a protest against government's poor decisions on export prices of onions

The farmers in Nashik had planned to stage a protest against government's poor decisions on export prices of onions (HT_PRINT)Premium
The farmers in Nashik had planned to stage a protest against government's poor decisions on export prices of onions (HT_PRINT)

Over 50 farmers and opposition members were detained in Nashik who had planned to stage a protest against government's poor decisions on export prices of onions. The incident is significant as it took place just ahead of PM Modi's Nashik visit. 

“On August 19, 2023, the Union government had imposed a 40% duty on the export of onions. On October 28, 2023 a new decision was made instead requiring the exporter to pay the government $800 per tonne of onion instead. After that on December 7, 2023, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade passed an order declaring that the onion export policy would be amended to make it free from prohibition till March 31, 2024," Bharat Dighole, founder of  Maharashtra Rajya Kanda Utpadak Shetkari Sanghatana (Maharashtra State Onion Producers Association), told Hindu

“However, by March, the election code of conduct was announced, and the DGFT released another statement saying that the export ban continues until further notice. On May 4, 2024, the ban was lifted, though, on select terms and conditions. The exporter must pay $550 per metric tonne to the government now," he added.

Around 3.5 lakh onion producing farmers are registered under the association.

No one spoke for us: Onion farmers ponted out

Noting that the state supplies onion to more than 50 countries, Dighole noted that if Maha Vikas Aghadi wanted to support them they could have raised their concern with the Centre, but it never happened. “NCP leader Sharad Pawar could have easily taken our issues to the Commerce Minister or the Home Minister if he really cared for farmers". 

He further noted that the issue didn't receive much attention from the media. Moreover, “From PM Modi to Sharad Pawar to Uddhav Thackeray were present here but none spoke for us." 

Maharashtra's Minister Chhagan Bhujbal has informed PM Modi about farmers' grievances regarding onion export policies noting that they believe that the Centre has done “injustice" to them.

They were struggling with production costs due to “labour shortage, rising labour rates and prohibitively expensive onion seed fertilizers" and said that onion should also be given a minimum base price.

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Published: 16 May 2024, 06:37 AM IST
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