Onion farmers in Pongalur in Tiruppur district staged a demonstration on Saturday opposing the 40% export duty on the produce until the end of 2023.
They raised slogans demanding a proper procurement mechanism for onions to prevent price fluctuations. “Export duty at a time when the price is on the higher side has angered farmers since the Central government did not pay attention when the prices crashed,” founder of Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Padukattu Sangam Easan Murugasamy said.
Withdrawal of the export duty is necessary to prevent huge losses to the onion farmers in Tiruppur, Erode, Dindigul, Tiruchi, Ariyalur, and Perambalur disticts, he said.
For export, shallots and onions must be considered as different commodities, they said.
The farmers had been told that the export duty was effected amid reports that onion prices are likely to rise in September, due to the speculative buying caused by decreased acreage this monsoon as well as depleted carry-forward rabi stocks.
The Central government, official sources said, has started releasing onion from its buffer stock of three lakh tonnes maintained under the price stabilisation fund with immediate effect to ensure prices remain under check till the new crop arrives from October.