For the second time in a month, wholesale onion traders in the Nashik APMCs have started an indefinite strike. They are protesting the 40 per cent hike in export duty for the crop, and will be doing so until December. The hike in the export duty will make it difficult to export the vegetable and entails huge losses for the farming community, already reeling under an absentee monsoon this year.

The strike move has sparked fears of shortages and a hike in retail prices ahead of the festival season. Among the demands of the traders are rollback of the export duty on onions, among others.

This week opened with a little over 1,800 tons of onion being sold in auction for around Rs 2,000/100 kgs at the Nashik APMCs. The current retail prices of onion range between Rs 20-25 per kg, depending on size and quality, in urban centres like Mumbai.

Last month, the onion wholesalers staged a similar protest but it was called off after the intervention by Union minister Bharti Pawar who belongs to the district.

[ Rs 100 = €1.10 ]