Centre allows export of 99,150 MT onion to Bangladesh, UAE, Bhutan, Bahrain, Mauritius & Sri Lanka

Government has allowed export of 99,150 MT of onion to six neighbouring countries of Bangladesh, UAE, Bhutan, Bahrain, Mauritius and Sri Lanka. Onion export prohibition has been imposed to ensure adequate domestic availability against the backdrop of estimated lower Kharif and Rabi crops in 2023-24, as compared to previous year and increase demand in international market.

The National Cooperative Exports Limited (NCEL), the agency for export of onion to these countries, sourced the domestic onions to be exported through e-platform at L1 prices and supplied to the agency or agencies nominated by the government of the destination country at the negotiated rate on 100% advance payment basis. The offer rate of NCEL to the buyers takes into account the prevailing prices in the destination market and also international and domestic markets. The quota allocated for export to the six countries are being supplied as per requisition made by the destination country. As the largest producer of onion in the country, Maharashtra is the major supplier of onions sourced by NCEL for export.

The procurement target for onion buffer out of Rabi-2024 under the Price Stabilisation Fund (PSF) of Department of Consumer Affairs has been fixed at 5 Lakh tons this year. The Central Agencies, viz., NCCF and NAFED are tying up local agencies such as FPOs/FPCs/PACs to support the procurement, storage and farmers registration to begin the procurement of any store-worthy onion. A high-level team of DoCA, NCCF and NAFED had visited Nashik and Ahmednagar Districts of Maharashtra during April 11 to 13, 2024, to create awareness among the farmers, FPOs/FPCs and PACs about the procurement of 5 LMT of onion for PSF buffer.

In order to reduce the storage loss of onions, the Department of Consumer Affairs decided to enhance the quantum of stocks to be irradiated and cold stored from 1200 MT last year to over 5000 MT this year, with technical support from BARC, Mumbai. The pilot of onion irradiation and cold storage taken up last year has been found to have resulted in the reduction of storage loss to less than 10 percent.