Karnataka urges Centre to lift ban on onion export

Written by: Pti
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DV Sadananda Gowda
Bangalore, Sept 23: Karnataka Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda has requested the Centre to consider lifting the ban on all varieties of onions in the interest of growers as prevailing prices in the State are not alarmingly high.

However, if the Centre feels the ban is still necessary in the interest of consumers at large, it may not be made applicable to two special varieties, Rose Onion and Indian Small Onion mainly grown in Karnataka, which are not domestically consumed and are meant for only export, he said.

"Thousands of Rose Onion and Indian Small Onion growers in Karnataka will get relief if the above proposal is considered favorably",he said in identifical letters to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma

There are specific onion types "Rose Onion", also known as "Bangalore Rose Onion" and Indian Small Onion, also known as Pickle Onion and Guilty Onion among local exporters. "These varieties are totally exported and their domestic consumption is negligible", he said.

Bangalore Rose Onion is mainly grown in Chikballapur and Kolar Districts and Indian Small Onion is concentrated in Chitradurga and Chikmagalur Districts. They are grown in about 23000 hectares with production of 4.40 lakh tonnes.

These onions are characterised by small size,deep rose/pink colour, right scales and strong pungency and are mainly exported to Sri Lanka, Malaysia and other South East Asia. The farming prospects of these farmers are entirely dependent on export trade, as they are not marketed and consumed in India.

The ban has adversely affected Rose Onion and Indian Small Onion growers in Karnataka,as it has totally sealed process s and avenues of export, and as a result, rates of these onions have started falling and farmers are in terrible financial distress and agony, Gowda added.


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