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Amid farmer protests, Centre moves in for damage control, announces extra procurement of onions

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With its decision to impose a duty of 40% on export of onions leading to protests by farmers in Maharashtra, the Modi government has moved for quick damage control.

Two days after the duty was imposed, Union Food Minister Piyush Goyal announced on Tuesday that the two cooperative bodies NAFED (National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation) and NCCF (National Cooperative Consumers’ Federation) will procure 2 lakh additional tonnes of onions at a “historic” rate of Rs 2,410 per quintal, and that they could procure more if needed.

Announcing that procurement centres had opened on Tuesday, Goyal also said that the decision to impose the export duty and make the extra procurement was taken on the same day, August 17.

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