Onion growers in Kyaukpadaung Township experience losses

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A farmer works in the onion fieldn.  Photo: Phoe Khwar

Onion growers in Kyaukpadaung Township, Mandalay Region, are facing losses as a result of low prices, said Daw Waing Nyein, an onion grower.
During growing period, onion seeds were bought at Ks80,000 per pyi or one small rice basket (volume equals to eight condensed milk cans). Cultivation costs around Ks50,000 for onion seeds per small basket. Meanwhile, this year, onions fetched only Ks500 per viss (3.6 lb), leading to a great loss, said U Tin Tun Aung, an onion grower working on a large scale.
A low price and severe losses this year might bring down the number of onion growers next year, said a grower.
Onion growers who do not own farmlands, rent land at an additional cost of Ks300,000 per acre on lease. Other inputs, such as organic fertilisers with by-products and waste from farm animals, labour wages and irrigation water cost around Ks2.2 million per acre. Growers can survive only when the yield is high and the onions fetch a fair price. If the price remains on the low side, they will not earn the capital cost, said U Tin Tun Aung.
It takes some five-and-a-half months from farmland treatment to onion harvesting. Onions should also be kept systematically, as they are perishable.
Decaying of onions and deterioration of their quality, such as weight reduction, can also lead to losses, said the onion growers. —Ko Htein (Ngathayauk)

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