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Kharif Sowing Area for Onion to be 27% Higher than Last Year; 30% Sowing Completed in Karnataka

Prices of onion are moderating as the quantity of rabi onion released in the market by farmers is increasing with higher mandi prices and onset of monsoon rains.

KJ Staff
Onion (Photo Source: Pixabay)
Onion (Photo Source: Pixabay)

Good and timely monsoon rains this year have given a big boost to kharif crops, including onion and other crops like tomato and potato. As per the assessment of Ministry of Agriculture with various state governments, the area targeted for kharif sowing of major vegetables like onion, tomato and potato have seen significant increase over last year.

The availability of onion in domestic market is comfortable, notwithstanding marginally lower production of onion in rabi-2024 season as compared to the production last year, according to an official release.

The onion crop is harvested in three seasons: rabi (March-May), kharif (September-November), and late kharif (January-February). In terms of production, the rabi crop contributed for around 70% of total production, with kharif and late kharif accounting for 30%. Kharif onion is vital for sustaining price stability during the lean months between rabi and peak kharif arrivals.

The target area under kharif onion this year is 3.61 lakh hectare which is 27% higher than last year. In Karnataka, the top kharif onion-producing state, sowing is completed in 30% of its targeted area of 1.50 lakh hectare, and sowing is making good progress in other major producing States.

The onion currently available in the market is the rabi-2024 crop, which was harvested between March and May of 2024. The predicted Rabi-2024 production of 191 lakh tonnes is sufficient to meet domestic consumption of around 17 lakh tonnes per month, with a continued export limit of 1 lakh tonnes per month. Furthermore, the dry weather conditions that prevailed before and after the rabi harvest this year have been seen to aid reduce onion storage loss.

Onion prices are stabilising as farmers release more rabi onions into the market, resulting in higher mandi prices and the arrival of monsoon rains, which raises the likelihood of storage loss owing to high atmospheric moisture. Although potatoes are mostly a Rabi crop, some Kharif potatoes are grown in Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Meghalaya, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu. The Kharif potato harvest, which lasts from September to November, increases market availability. This year, the area planted with Kharif potatoes is expected to expand by 12% over the previous year.

Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand have covered almost the entire targeted sowing area while sowing in Karnataka and other States are in good progress. As per DAFW data, 273.2 lakh tonnes of Rabi potato had been stored in cold storage this year which is sufficient to meet the consumption demand. The prices of potato regulates the rate at which it’s released from the cold storages during the storage period from March to December.

As per Ministry of Agriculture’s assessment,  the targeted kharif tomato area this year is 2.72 lakh hectare as against 2.67 lakh hectare sown last year. Crop conditions are reported to be good in major producing areas of Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh and Kolar in Karnataka. In Kolar, picking of tomatoes have started and will hit the market in within few days from now.

As per feedback from District Horticultural officials in Chittoor and Kolar, tomato crop this year is substantially better than last year. Kharif tomato areas are set to increase substantially over last year in major producing States of Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, the release added.

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