Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Burma may import onions to prevent prices from rising

Tuesday, 01 November 2011 22:22 Te Te

New Delhi (Mizzima) – Following heavy flooding in the Pakokku Region of Burma, onions may be imported to prevent prices from rising, says the Myanmar Onion Producers Association.

Starting in late October, heavy rain hit Pakokku District, a key onion producing area in Magway Region and onion fields were spoiled. Onion prices increased from 700 kyat (about US$ 0.90) per viss (1 viss = 1.6 kg) to 1,200 kyat per viss.

Onions stored in a warehouse photo: Mizzima

This year an estimated 25 percent of the onion fields in Myittha and Pakokku were spoiled by flooding. An estimated 200 million viss of onion will be produced soon, officials said, and the amount is enough for the local market, which should prevent more price increases.

Khin Han, the information officer of the Myanmar Onion Producers Association, told Mizzima: “We will try to save some of the spoiled fields and grow onion crops again.  Our association has discussed this with merchants. We will go to the fields this week.”

Mandalay Region produces the largest amount of onions in Burma; it grows 7,083 acres of onion during the Monsoon and 622,881 acres in winter, according to government figures.

Normally in November about 30,000 viss of onions are sent to warehouses, but because of the flooding about 10,000 viss were sent, according to an onion warehouse owner.

In previous years, Burma exported onions to Thailand, India and China. In 2009, onion price shot up to 1,800 kyat per viss and more than 500 tons of onion were imported from India.

This season heavy incessant rain and flooding killed 161 people and 2,657 were displaced. The value of the damage was 1.5 billion kyat, according to official figures.

Leave a Reply