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Maharashtra farmers hit ban on onion exports to Center

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Onion farmers across Maharashtra protested on Tuesday over the Narendra Modi governments ’decision to ban the export of the lamp.

Sharp punishments were issued by the main outfits of farmers like Raju Shettis Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana, Kisan Sabha All-India (AIKS) and Rayab Kranti Sanghatana led by Sadabhau Khot, all of whom described political motives behind the movement of the Centers.

At the Nashik onion production center, protests erupted in Lasalgaon, which houses Asia’s largest onion market, as well as in Manmad, with angry farmers chanting anti-Central Government slogans demanding an immediate reinstatement of the export ban. .

Dr. Ajit Nawale, secretary general of state, AIKS, said the Center, by banning onion exports under the 1992 Foreign Trade Act, had betrayed farmers in Maharashtra and the country. The decision of the Modi governments was taken simply in the light of the upcoming Bihar elections in an attempt to appease the public by lowering onion prices. So, in fact, the farmers of Maharashtra have been sacrificed on the altar of realpolitik to please the electorate of Bihar, claimed Dr. Nawal.

The steady rise in wholesale onion prices (with the average trading price per kg of onions in Lasalgaon hovering around 35) is believed to have been one of the main reasons behind the ban on onion exports.

Dr. Nawale said the ban had once again exposed the anti-farmer face of the Modi government. He said the Center recently announced the exclusion of five types of essential goods, including onions. The pro-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Farmers’ Unions as well as other outfits had welcomed the announcement of the Modi governments and were excited about it. This cruel turn has revealed to governments the true colors.

Noting that the country had a record production of onions this season, Dr. Nawale said despite onion prices rising slightly in September due to supply chain issues, the increase, however, was only temporary. In addition, onions produced in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka will also be available in the market. In such a scenario, it is unlikely that any serious shortage problems will arise in the near future, he said, adding that AIKS would take to the streets and oppose the export ban.

Surprising betrayal

Mr Shetti said the governments’ sudden decision to ban onion exports would have a major impact on farmers already economically desperate from the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic. For the past four months, farmers had been selling onions at cast prices at 4-5 per kilogram. Now that farmers have started making some money due to overproduction of onions, this surprising betrayal comes from a part of the Center. Just a few days ago, the same Center was talking about justice for onion growers, Mr. Shetti said, adding that whenever any opportunity was created for farmers to make a profit, the Center came up with some anti-farmer measures.

Mr Khot said that due to the surprise sighting of the Centers, thousands of tonnes of onions were leaking in more than 300 container trucks that had stopped at the Indo-Bangladesh border, and another 400 containers prepared to be loaded at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Belief in Mumbai.

On the one hand, the central government is trying to establish a friendly face with farmers with its Kisan railway and Ek Desh Ek Pazar [One Nation One Market] schemes, while imposing such autocratic export bans on the other hand. Are these schemes just lip service? asked Mr. Khot, whose dress is an ally of the National Democratic Alliance in Maharashtra.

Noting that the farmers had suffered huge financial losses in the six months of the blockade caused by COVID-19, he said he would personally join the protesting farmers in Nashik.

May disconnect from BJP

We could even consider severing ties with BJP if the Center does not lift the export ban again, Mr Khot warned, adding that such unexpected measures taken without issuing a proper notice had sown distrust among farmers over policies. of Centers.

Describing the decision as a big mistake, State Agriculture Minister Dada Bhuse said the ban should be revoked immediately.

Maharashtra contributes to more than 70% of onion exports to India, this decision is a grave injustice to United States farmers. I believe that Prime Minister Uddhav Thackeray will talk to the Prime Minister about this issue, said Mr. Bhuse.

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