Lack of rains in Maharashtra's onion belt

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Pune, Oct 4: Not enough rains in Maharashtra's onion-producing belt during the monsoon led to the failure of the crop resulting in the soaring prices of the vegetable.

Onion traders of the city echo the view of farmers, who are blaming the rain-god for the crop failure. "Due to scarcity of rain, most of our onions have gone bad and due to which there is scarcity of onions in the market, " said Lakshman Shinde, a farmer.

With the pre-monsoon stocks getting emptied, and the prices shooting north, the Government today issued a notification banning the export of onion for the next fifteen days.

The wholesalers in Pune feel that this is a temporary phase and would soon be over once fresh stock comes into the market. "The old onion batch is getting over and the new batch will come later. Therefore the price is soaring, but this situation will not last for more than eight days," said B J Deshmukh, administrator of a market committee in Pune.

Currently, onions are costing between Rs 20-24 per kg in the national capital. Onions have held a special status - and obsessive media attention - in the country ever since 1998, when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lost state elections in Delhi, mainly due to runaway prices of onion.


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