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India: Maharashtra onion belt sees 65% drop in sowing activity

Officials from Maharashtra’s Agriculture Department said the state will not be able to cross the standard 255,000 hectares of sowing. Farmers normally start sowing winter onions in December, finishing in late January.

A 65 per cent dip from the standard sowing activity was reported from the onion belt until the first week of January. Low prices in the previous season and drought have taken their toll on the ongoing sowing of winter onions. Only 89,936 hectares of sowing were reported.

Now, with the sowing window of these onions closing in, the state is likely to see a major dip in the onion growing areas. By far, the greatest dip was observed in the onion belt of Nashik that reported 18,235 hectares of sowing as against the standard 80,772 hectares. The Nashik division -normally reporting 127,000 hectares- has seen over 28,193 hectares sown up until the first week of January. reported on farmers saying that apart from the last drought, low prices discouraged them from going for the crop.

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