Indian Government has procured 52,460 tonne of onion till May-end this year for maintaining a buffer stock, a senior Consumer Affairs Ministry official said.

The Indian Government for the last few years has been maintaining a buffer stock of onion to tackle price rise during the lean season. Onion is being procured through an agency National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (Nafed).

Read: June 2022 Issue of Food InfoTech Magazine.

A procurement target of 2.50 lakh tonne of rabi 2022 onion has been fixed for 2022-23.

“Nafed has reportedly procured 52,460.34 tonne of onion till May 31, this year,” the official said.

The target set for the current year will be achieved by next month, the official added.

In 2021-22, a total quantity of 2.08 lakh tonne of rabi (winter) onion was procured for calibrated and targeted releases to stabilise prices during the lean season.

As per the Agriculture Ministry’s estimate, the country’s total onion production is estimated to increase by 16.81 per cent to 31.12 million tonne in the 2022-23 crop year (July-June), compared to 26.64 million tonne in the 2021-22 crop year.

Earlier, farmers were concerned for the growing onions are rising as retail prices of this essential kitchen ingredient have soared in the last few weeks. Many fear that the rising prices could prompt the government to impose a ban on exports. Last month the government, without notice, halted the outbound shipment of wheat as well to rein in domestic prices.

According to a report published in a leading daily – Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during her visit to India in October 2019 had joked about the ban of this vegetable while speaking at an economic forum. “It has become difficult for us to get onions. I don’t know why you stopped the supply. I’ve told my cook to make food without onions,” she said then. The Bangladesh PM also said that India should have given some notice before imposing a ban on the vegetable. In 2020 too amid the Covid pandemic, New Delhi had stopped exports of onions after a surge in domestic prices.

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Besides, Bangladesh, UAE, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and several other countries in the middle east are the top importers of Indian onions.

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