Supply exceeds demand leaving an overabundance of onions in Ireland and across Europe.

Onions are costing up 16 pence per pound in the shops, growers only get half that and are puzzled by who is making the big profit. Irish onion growers have appealed to the Department of Agriculture to stop imports from outside the European Economic Community. They also plan to launch a campaign to promote homegrown onions.

On average, the Irish acreage of onions is about 800. This has been pushed up to about 1,500 acres as a result of speculative growing.

Now, there are nearly five thousand tonnes of onions in the country, enough for 44 weeks home supply.

With no extra demand in, there is a huge glut. In some areas of the country onions have already been dumped. It is likely that a further three thousand tonnes may also be dumped.

Alan Navratil, Secretary of the Irish Onion Growers' Association, explains how the problem of this excess has occurred. After two drought years internationally in 1975 and 1976, it was inevitable that growers would sew too much. In the EEC as a whole there is .3 million tonnes excess of onions.

Perhaps a little better coordination between the market place and the growers through the Departments of Agriculture, Brussels and so on, would help.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 7 February 1978. The reporter is Tom MacSweeeney.