Mumbai, India (BBN)– In the backdrop of a ban by Pakistan on Indian yields, including onion and cotton, Maharashtra has decided to export the same to the West Bengal (WB) market.
The WB market is the biggest exporter of onion to Bangladesh and European countries, whereas Pakistan imports onions from Bangladesh. Farmers in the state thus hope to make up for their losses by exploiting the WB-Bangladesh-Pakistan route, the Asian Age reported.
Minister of state for agriculture Sadabhau Khot left on a six-day visit to WB and Assam, where he will meet Agriculture Produce Market Committee (Mandi) members.
“As WB is the biggest importer of onions from Maharashtra and exports it to Bangladesh, eastern countries and Europe, farmers from Maharashtra will be benefited if we tie up with new traders in WB and Assam,” said Mr Khot. He added that the government is looking to export Maharashtra onions to Pakistan via Bangladesh.
Maharashtra produced 67.67 lakh metric tonnes (MT) of onion during the 2015-16 season, which is 20 lakh MT more than the previous year. “More than 50 per cent of onion exports to WB are from Maharashtra and of this 50 per cent, Nashik contributes 80 per cent,” said Mr Khot. He added that due to a bumper season, the rate of onion has reduced in the local market and thus the reliance of farmers on the foreign export market has increased.
When asked whether the ban by Pakistan on the import of Indian cotton and onions will affect the domestic market, Mr Khot said, “Pakistan will purchase onions from Bangladesh. Our trade will not be affected even though Pakistan had banned imports from India. We have another route through Bangladesh.”
He added: “Assam and WB are not onion-producing states, but WB has a major port, through which most of the produce will reach all around the world.”