A day after the agriculture ministry banned onion exports, prices in Pimpalgaon and Lasalgaon, two of the largest onion markets in India, prices dropped.
The average price of a quintal of onion in the Lasalgaon Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC), which was Rs3,800 before the ban, went down to Rs2,500. In Pimpalgaon, average onion prices were Rs3,200 a quintal compared to Rs3,500 before the ban.
Farmers claimed relief from high onion prices is unlikely. “The old onions were being exported and that stock is very limited. So, stopping exports won’t affect prices much,” Shantaram Kokate, an onion farmer from Pimpalgaon, said.
Kokate said that the government did not step in when onion production in Nashik suffered due to unseasonal rains.
Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar said it will take at least three weeks for prices to be stable. Maharashtra is the largest onion producer in India, contributing 30% of the total production. Most of this comes from Nashik.
Onion prices rose to Rs 3,800 a quintal from an average of Rs 600 a quintal since May 2009.