Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar Monday demanded that the ban on onion export be lifted and claimed the central government was ignoring the hard work of farmers.
Addressing onion growers, who have been protesting against the Centre's decision, in Chandwad village of Nashik district in Maharashtra, Pawar said cultivators need to be united and demand their rights.
"Nashik can show the way," he added.
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The Centre has banned onion exports till March 31 next year to increase domestic availability and to keep prices in check.
Farmers in parts of Maharashtra have been protesting against the Centre's decision.
Onion growers are small farmers who toil for a good crop, Pawar said, adding that during his tenure as Union agriculture minister, he never brought down the onion prices nor banned exports.
"The ban on onion exports should be lifted immediately," he said.
Pawar further said, "Bangladesh has levied Rs 160 (import) duty on grapes. The grape producers will face hardships due to this decision."
Will find way to ensure farmers don't face losses due to onion export ban: CM Shinde
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde Monday said his government will find a way so that farmers do not suffer losses due to the ban on export of onions.
Shinde visited his Shiv Sena party office in the Vidhan Bhavan premises in Nagpur ahead of the third day of the state legislature's winter session here.
The Centre has banned onion exports till March 31, 2024, to increase domestic availability and keep prices in check.
Speaking to reporters on the issue, Shinde said the state government always stands with farmers of the state.
The CM said he had a telephonic conversation with Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Piyush Goyal on the onion issue.
"We will find out a way so that farmers and customers do not face losses due to the ban on export of onions," Shinde said.
On the issue of ban on the use of sugarcane juice and sugar syrup for ethanol production, the CM said the government representatives will meet Union Cooperation Minister Amit Shah over the matter. (With inputs from PTI)