87,000 tons of onion exported in Jan-Feb after ban lifted: Minister

Elvera Bartels

India has exported 87,000 tonnes of onion in the January-February period right after the ban was lifted in perspective of very good kharif crop estimates, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar claimed in Parliament on Tuesday.

The govt lifted the ban on export with impact from January 1 in perspective of very good prospective clients of kharif and late kharif creation estimates, he claimed in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

“Right after latest lifting of the ban, the export of onion in the months of January and February 2021 has been fifty six,000 tonnes and 31,000 tonnes respectively, as towards monthly normal export of two.18 lakh tonnes prior to imposition of ban in September, 2020,” Tomar claimed.

The All India normal retail rates of onion in December 2020 was Rs forty four.33 for each kg, while through January and February 2021 the rates have been Rs 38.59 for each kg and Rs forty four.08 for each kg, respectively, he additional.

In 2019-twenty, the region exported 11.50 lakh tonne of onion at a worth of Rs two,320.70 crore.

The minister claimed the govt has accredited generation of two lakh tonne of onion buffer through 2021-22 less than the Rate Stabilisation Fund (PSF), which would be built by procuring the Rabi crop arriving from March this year.

To check onion rates final year, Tomar claimed the govt had launched onion from the buffer stock of 1 lakh tonne developed from Rabi-2020 onion in a calibrated way to moderate rates of onion given that September 2020.

The govt had also accredited procurement of 1 lakh tonne of onion from the Kharif 2020 crop less than the PSF to recoup the buffer for further retail intervention other than banning export in September final year and imposing a stock restrict on traders.

To augment domestic availability of onion as a result of import, the govt had eased the fumigation and quarantine norms and also accorded acceptance for procuring and disposal of the imported onion by the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (NAFED) at pre-resolved ceiling value as a result of the issue of tenders at standard intervals.

“As a consequence of these steps, onion import arrived in considerable portions from Oct onward, and by the end of December, 2020 a overall of more than sixty five,546 MT was imported,” he additional.

The value of onion has been on a declining trend from November 2020 and by December, rates in the mandis ended up reported to be substantially low. Retail value had also declined significantly, the minister additional.

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