Magway farmers worry loss to expand growing onions as prices drop

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The prices of onions sharply dropped due to the bulk supply and the western border’s closure amid the coronavirus resurgence. Photo : Zeyar Htet (Minbu)

Onion growers are worried about a possible loss to expand growing acres in Minbu Township, Magway Region, as the prices remain low.
The onion prices stood at K1,800-2,500 per viss (a viss equals 1.6kg) during a year-ago period. The prices fell below K450-500 per viss in the wholesale market and K800-900 per viss in the retail market. The drastic fall of price raised the growers’ financial concerns.
“The growers are hoping for the market recovery when the transportation difficulties are eased. We can get a healthy profit only if the price climbs up. Now, we are burdened by high input cost,” said U Myint Shwe, a grower from Minbu Township.
Onion fetched around K1,000 per viss in the previous months on the back of demand by neighbouring countries. At present, the growers are suffering losses as the onion price plunged to K150 per viss in recent days in Monywa Township, Sagaing Region. Moreover, those tenant farmers are severely battered, said a grower from Monywa Township.
The prices of onions sharply dropped due to the bulk supply and the western border’s closure amid the coronavirus resurgence.
Earlier, onions were highly demanded by Bangladesh, India and China. “Now, the trade with Bangladesh and India is halted to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Therefore, the price is on the decline, said wholesale dealer of onion from Mandalay.
This year, the onion growers and traders are experiencing market fallouts due to the surging COVID-19 cases. As a result of this, workers engaged in onion depots are suffering financial hardships, said a depot owner from Mandalay.
According to the Mandalay commodity depot, last year, Bangladesh’s demand for Myanmar’s onions coupled with high demand in the local market hiked up prices, soaring up to K4,000 per viss on 15 November 2019. The high demand by foreign markets and a remarkable price rise prompted the growers to expand the onion cultivation this year. The prices of domestic onions exceeded K3,000 per viss in 2015, 2018, and 2019. The onions are primarily grown in Mandalay, Magway and Yangon regions, Nay Pyi Taw and Shan State.—Zeyar Htet, Ko Htet (Translated by Ei Myat Mon)

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