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Govt allows export of 99,150 tonnes of onion to 6 countries

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Govt allows export of 99,150 tonnes of onion to 6 countries

New Delhi, April 27 (Ajit Weekly News) The government has allowed the export of 99,150 metric tonnes of onion to six countries — Bangladesh, UAE, Bhutan, Bahrain, Mauritius and Sri Lanka, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs said on Saturday.

A ban has been imposed on onion export to ensure adequate domestic availability and keep prices in check as the output of both the Kharif and Rabi crops in 2023-24 are estimated to be lower as compared to the previous year and demand has increased in the 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 agencies nominated by the government of the destination country at the negotiated rate on 100 per cent advance payment basis, according to the Food Ministry statement.

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 quotas allocated for export to the six countries are being supplied as per the requisition made.

As the largest producer of onion in the country, Maharashtra is the major supplier of onions sourced by NCEL for export.

The government had also allowed the export of 2,000 metric tonnes (MT) of white onion cultivated especially for export markets in Middle-East and some European countries.

Being purely export-oriented, the production cost of the white onion is higher than other onions due to higher seed cost, adoption of good agricultural practice (GAP) and compliance to strict maximum residue limits (MRL) requirements.

The procurement target for onion buffer out of Rabi-2024 under the Price Stabilisation Fund (PSF) of the Department of Consumer Affairs has been fixed at 5 lakh tonnes 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 the Department of Consumer Affairs, NCCF and NAFED had visited Nashik and Ahmednagar Districts of Maharashtra during April 11-13, 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 1,200 MT last year to over 5,000 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 per cent.

–Ajit Weekly News

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