Onion downward market leads growers to reduce sowing acreage this year in Myothit Tsp

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The onion growers in Myothit Township, Magway Region is planning to scale down the sowing acreage this year, following the negative consequences of the COVID-19.
A grower usually executes four acres of onion in Phogon village of Myothit Township. This year, the number of acreages will drop. The sluggish trade amid the current political conditions and shutdown of the restaurants, hotels, factories and donation events exacerbate the onion market, the growers stressed. Additionally, the growers cannot even afford the input cost this year due to the low price, forcing them to reduce the sowing acres instead, said U Win Zaw, a grower.
The onion market remains sluggish as the foreign demand has dried up, onion traders stated. The price stays on the low side. The price of onions stood at K275-550 per viss (a viss equals 1.6 kilogrammes) in the wholesale market, said a grower from Ba Yint Naung wholesale market.
The closure of border posts resulted in the drastic price drop during the COVID-19 pandemic, making the growers suffer loss.
The onion growers have been facing extreme losses on a downward trend due to the lack of foreign demand. They cannot even cover the cultivation cost as well as afford the harvesting cost for now. Consequently, the prolonged price declines led some growers in Magway Region to leave their onions unharvested last year as they cannot cover the labour wages and transportation charges. In early 2020, the onion fetched K1,200-1,300 per viss. Then, the price drastically fell in the COVID-19 crisis. Earlier, onions were highly demanded by Bangladesh and India. The trade with Bangladesh and India has been halted to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Having said that, the price remained low. The onion growers, as well as traders, have been experiencing market fallouts due to the COVID-19 impacts, said the onion wholesale dealer from Mandalay. Next, 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, according to the Mandalay commodity depot.
The high demand by foreign markets and a remarkable price rise prompted the growers to expand the onion cultivation in 2020. Unfortunately, the market is getting worse amidst the COVID-19 negative consequences. 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. — Myint Myint Htwe (IPRD)/KK/GNLM

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