In an effort to firm up onion prices, the central government on Wednesday decided to extend the ongoing export subsidy for the bulb by three months. The decision was taken after Union minister Subhash Bhamre, along with state Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, met Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitely in Delhi on Wednesday.
Onion growers in the state have been witnessing a free fall in prices since the last 15 months.
The situation has not improved much, even though the area under rabi onion cultivation has gone down in 2016-17. Compared to the over 3 lakh hectares of farm land during rabi season in 2015-16, the state has seen only 2.5 lakh hectares of rabi onions in 2016-17. But the glut in onion trade has refused to ease out. To help farmers, the state had announced 5 per cent export subsidy. The subsidy was supposed to expire by the end of June. Bhamre, the MP from Dhule Malegaon, a major onion-growing area, had met Jaitely to ask for an increase in export subsidy. Onion growers are hopeful that the extension will help firm up prices.