The three-month extension to the 5% export duty benefit on onions, under the Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS), will boost exports, hope farmers and exporters.
After demands from exporters and the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee, the Centre has again extended the scheme's benefits till June 30.
Nivrutti Nyaharkar, Nashik divisional president of the Jai Kisan Farmers' Forum, said, "The cost of growing onions is around Rs 1,000 per quintal and farmers incur losses when the prices go below that. Currently, the average wholesale price of onions has declined to Rs 450 to Rs 500 per quintal and farmers are incurring huge losses."
Nyaharkar said, "Extending the MEIS benefit is a good move to boost exports and stabilise prices, but it will not be enough. The government needs to give a grant of Rs 1,5000 per quintal on onions if it really wants the survival of onion farmers."