Additional 2 lakh tonne onion procurement from farmers starts


The central government has started the procurement of an additional 2 lakh tonne of onion from farmers in Maharashtra. The decision to procure this additional stock came after farmers in Maharashtra protesed the Government decision to levy a 40% export duty on sale of Onions. The announcement of the start of procurement was made after a meeting between Union Minister Piyush Goyal and Maharashtra Agriculture Minister Dhananjay Munde in Delhi.
“The central government always works in the best interest of farmers and buys their produce from time to time… NCCF and NAFED on the direction of central government had procured 3 lakh tonne onions from various parts of Maharashtra, which in the process increased the prices. To create a balance between farmers and consumers, the government has imposed a 40 per cent export duty on onion. This is to ensure domestic availability,” Goyal told ANI.
“The two agricultural agencies – NCCF and NAFED — have started procuring additional 2 lakh tonne of onion directly from farmers at Rs 2,410 per 100 kg in Maharashtra”, Goyal said.
“If need be, we are ready to procure more from other onion growing states,” he said.
Amid rising prices of onions in parts of India, the central government meanwhile started releasing the staple vegetable from its buffer stock.
In an unprecedented move, the government on Sunday raised the quantum of onion buffer to 5.00 lakh metric tonne this year, after achieving the initial procurement target of 3.00 lakh metric tonne.
The central government had earlier decided it will maintain 3 lakh tonne of onions in the 2023-24 season as buffer stock. In 2022-23, the government maintained 2.51 lakh tonne onion as buffer stock.
Buffer stock is maintained to meet any exigencies and for price stabilisation, if rates go up significantly during the lean supply season.
Apart from market disposal, it was also decided to offer to the States at discounted rates for sale through retail outlets of their consumer cooperatives and corporations, the release added.
Rabi onion harvested during April – June accounts for 65 per cent of India’s onion production and meets the consumer’s demand till the Kharif crop is harvested in October-November.
Maharashtra agriculture minister Dhananjay Munde today met Piyush Goyal and requested him that the central government should rethink the exprot duty on the export of onions, citing it was hurting the farmers in Maharashtra.
“The Union Minister has assured that they will consider this. In the meanwhile, as an immediate measure the minister has assured that NAFED will purchase an additional 2 lakh tonne of onions from Maharashtra. For this a historic price of Rs 2,410 per quintal has been agreed. I am thankful to the Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal for this decision. I have also thanked them on behalf of the farmers of Maharashtra,” Munde told ANI.
India on Saturday imposed a 40 per cent duty on the export of onions to check price rise and improve supplies in the domestic market till December 31, 2023.