With the plentiful supply of onions during the harvest season leading to a fall in prices, growers in Mahlaing Township, Meiktila District, Mandalay Region have said they are facing losses.
“Farmers need three or four pyi (2.3 kg) of onion seeds for cultivating one acre of the crop. The price of seeds increased to K100,000 per pyi this year due to fungal diseases in onion seeds last January,” said U Aung Thein, an onion grower. “The cost of cultivation is estimated at K1 million per acre, including input costs and harrowing,” he added.
Additionally, fertilizers and pesticides were required this year because of the erratic weather, pushing cultivation costs to K1.7 million per acre at the time of harvest, said growers.
The yield is pegged at about 5,000 viss of onions per acre, and the prices have been ranging between K300 and K325. The prices increased to K350 per viss on 21 April, but growers said they are still facing losses.
“Onions are mostly cultivated in October and November and harvested in April. Onions fetched K500 per viss during harvest time in previous years, and the prices climbed to K1,250 when onion stocks ran low. Growers will make a profit only if the prices reach K650-K700 per viss,” said Daw War War, an onion farmer.
“The wages were estimated at about K2,000 last year and this year, they have increased to K3,000. Therefore, growers hope to get a good price in the market,” said U Nyo Lay, another grower. —Bo Bo(Mahlaing)
(Translated by La Wonn)