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Govt Imposes Onion Export Ban till 31st March, 2024 to Ensure Domestic Availability

The government remains vigilant about onion crop availability and prices, committed to taking necessary measures in the interest of both consumers and farmers.

Shivam Dwivedi
Govt Imposes Onion Export Ban till 31st March, 2024 to Ensure Domestic Availability  (Photo Source: Pexels)
Govt Imposes Onion Export Ban till 31st March, 2024 to Ensure Domestic Availability (Photo Source: Pexels)

In a move aimed at securing the availability of onions for domestic consumers at affordable prices, the Indian government has imposed a prohibition on onion exports from December 8, 2023, to March 31, 2024.

The decision was prompted by factors such as the delayed arrival of the Kharif crop, the quantity of onion exports, and global conditions, including trade and non-trade restrictions imposed by major suppliers such as Turkey, Egypt, and Iran.

To mitigate the potential adverse impact on farmers, the government has been actively procuring onions from them under the Price Stabilisation Fund. Earlier this year, the government directed the National Cooperative Consumer Federation (NCCF) and the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) to procure 7 lakh tonnes of onions for the buffer. As of now, approximately 5.10 lakh tonnes have been procured, with ongoing efforts to procure the remaining quantity.

The procured onions are being strategically distributed in high-price markets through open market sales and direct retail sales to consumers. Out of the 2.73 lakh tonnes of onions disposed of from the buffer, nearly 20,700 MT has been sold to retail consumers in 213 cities through 2,139 retail points. These interventions have played a crucial role in reducing the all-India average retail price for onions from Rs.59.9 per kg on November 17 to Rs.56.8 per kg on December 8.

It is worth noting that on October 29, the government had imposed a Minimum Export Price (MEP) of USD 800 per ton for onion exports while simultaneously disposing of the onion buffer stock. Although the MEP proved effective in reducing onion exports, sizable quantities continued to be exported due to the global situation and the delayed arrival of the Kharif crop.

The procurement of onions from farmers under the Price Stabilisation Fund will persist, ensuring remunerative prices for farmers. Additionally, wholesale and retail interventions will continue in high-price markets to make onions available to consumers at affordable prices.

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