Farmers in Nashik's Lasalgaon area, home to among the largest onion markets in the world, and some other trading spots in the district on Tuesday took to the streets in protest against a ban on export of the kitchen staple.
Agitations took place in Mungse, Pimpalgaon, Nampur and Umrane markets and protesting farmers stalled auctions underway for some 10,000 quintals that had arrived, and also tried to stop traffic in the vicinity, including on the Mumbai-Agra Highway that skirts past Umrane, officials said.
At Lasalgaon Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC), Asia''s biggest onion market, auctions started on Tuesday morning at a price of Rs 2,200 per quintal, a figure that angered farmers who claimed the ban on exports was bringing down rates in the domestic markets.
On Monday, rates were 1,100 per quintal on the minimum side, Rs 3,209 on the maximum end and Rs 2,950 on an average, but the decision to ban exports brought down the price to Rs 2,700 per quintal hours later, protesting farmers said.
The Union government on Monday banned the export of all varieties of onions with immediate effect, a move aimed at increasing availability and checking price of the commodity in the domestic market.
"The export of all varieties of onions is prohibited with immediate effect," the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said in a notification.
The DGFT, an arm of the commerce ministry, deals with exports and imports-related issues.