Onion market fallout hits growers

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Onion growers in Pwintbyu Township are struggling to survive with the collapse of onion market.
The residents in Pwintbyu Township, Magway Region execute agriculture throughout the year with the use of irrigation network of Mezali diversion weir and underground water. Despite the high yield, the growers are battered by the price drop, onion growers stressed.
“We primarily cultivate onions in monsoon and winter in our region. Approximately 3,000-4,000 viss (a viss equals to 1.6 kg) are produced per acre. When onions were priced around K1,500-K2,000 per viss in the previous years, the growers were happy with it. The prevailing prices (K300-K400 per viss) cannot cover the input cost,” a grower elaborated.
The cultivation cost is around K1 million per acre. The residents in Pwintbyu Township are expecting the high price.
The onion market remains sluggish as the foreign demand has dried up, onion traders stated.
In early 2020, the onion fetched K1,200-K1,300 per viss. The onion growers as well as traders have been experiencing market fallouts due to the COVID-19 impacts, said onion 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 remarkable rise in price 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.—Ye Win Naing (NyaungU), KK/GNLM

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