New Delhi: It may be bad news for consumers as the government has estimated that there may be a drastic 26 per cent fall in onion output in the kharif and late-kharif seasons of this fiscal, impacting both supply and prices of onion across almost all cities in the coming days.
In a bid a tame prices, it is, however, expected that the government may extend the ban on onion exports till February as domestic prices have gone up sharply following mass damage of onions due to untimely incessant rains. “The government may extend the ban on onion exports till February since domestic prices are still ruling very high,” an agriculture ministry official said.
The government said on Tuesday that due to the fall in production in kharif and late-kharif seasons, the onion prices may go up from the all-India average retail price of Rs 60.38 per kg on November 15. Onion was sold at Rs 22.84 a kg on the same date last year.
“Onion production in kharif and late-kharif seasons of 2019-20 is estimated to fall 26 per cent to 52.06 lakh tonne. Onion is a seasonal crop with harvesting period of rabi (March to June), kharif (October to December) and late-kharif (January-March). During July to October, the supply in the market comes from stored onions from rabi season,” food minister Ram Vilas Paswan said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
The government banned onion exports in late September and imposed stock limits to boost domestic supply and check prices. Despite the export ban, onion prices refused to come down, rather it spiked during October and November on limited onion supply, especially in Maharashtra, the country’s biggest producer....