Summary of A Treatise on Onions

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A Treatise on Onions summary

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  • Eye Opening
  • Background
  • Engaging


The humble onion is a deeply meaningful vegetable, especially when it comes to India’s economy. In this fascinating and elegantly written report, free market proponent Barun S. Mitra eviscerates India’s agricultural controls – policies he considers misguided. Mitra describes the peculiarities of the nation’s volatile markets, and he persuasively argues that the problems extend well beyond onions to larger parts of India’s economy. getAbstract recommends this revealing article to investors and executives seeking insights into India’s sometimes-baffling markets.

About the Author

Barun S. Mitra is founder and director of the Liberty Institute, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization in New Delhi.


In India, policies governing the farming, distribution and pricing of onions illustrate core dysfunctions within the economy. In a nation where, on average, people devote 50% of their household spending to food, onions are a core staple, and the poor in particular depend on it. Even small changes in the cost of onions can send shocks through the economy, and prices can vary by as much as 500% over a period of a few weeks. India’s poor are an engaged voting bloc, and so food prices sway elections and influence the government’s supply targets and regulations. Onions are so important...

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