Sri Lankan growers hail onion import tax

Yesterday, farmers and farmer organizations in Dambulla, Galewela, Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa, Habarana and Medirigiriya have welcomed their government’s decision to increase the import tax on big onions. Farmer Organisation Representative Kamalasiri Subasinghe thanked Agriculture Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage for resolving this long-standing problem.

He said that a kilo of imported big onions in the open market is sold at between Rs. 60 and Rs..80. quoted him as saying: “Therefore, traders buy local big onion at very low prices. We spend around Rs. 90 per kilo to cultivate onions and without knowing the expenses, the traders bargain big onions at Rs. 85. Many farmers have even pawned their jewelry to cultivate onions.”

The farmers also requested the Minister to provide them with adequate organic fertilizer and enough chemical fertilizer for the coming season. Chemical fertilizer is essential for onion cultivation, as half-grown onions are often ruined by pests.

[ Rs. 100 = € 0,42 ]

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