Agri Business

With bumper crop set to hit market, no more tears over onion

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 27, 2020 Published on January 27, 2020

Horticulture output to touch 313 mt

The days of onion crisis seem to be over. According to the first advance estimates released by the Agriculture Ministry on Monday, onion production in the current crop year is projected to be 24.45 million tonnes (mt), nearly 7 per cent more than 22.82 mt produced in the 2018-19 crop year. India’s crop year runs from July to June.

Apart from onions, most major vegetables, including potato and tomato, are expected to have higher output than last year, pushing the total vegetable production to 188 mt, against 183 mt in 2018-19. Fruit production, on the other hand, is expected to slide by 2.27 per cent to 95.74 mt from 97.97 mt.

Vegetable production

The bumper vegetable production is expected to push up the total horticulture production to 313.35 mt, about 1 per cent higher than the 310.74 mt projected in the final estimates for 2018-19. The Ministry announced the final estimates for 2018-19 also on Monday. However, what is not immediately known is whether the first estimates – which are normally based on sown area of different crops – have taken into account the heavy losses suffered in onion output in October-November last year. Many onion growing areas in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh suffered huge onion crop losses, prompting the Centre to import nearly 34,000 tonnes of onions from countries such as Egypt and Turkey.

The total area under horticultural crops in 2019-20 is estimated to be 25.61 million hectares, against 25.43 million hectares in 2018-19. An increase in vegetables, aromatics and medicinal and plantations is expected while the production of fruits, flowers and spices is projected to come down. Vegetable production is projected to go up by 2.64 per cent in the current year compared to last year. While potato output is expected to be 3.49 per cent more at 51.94 mt, tomato production is projected to be up by 1.68 per cent at 19.33 mt. Barring apple and guava, the production of most major fruits, including banana, mango and citrus fruits, is expected to slide from last year’s levels. However, apple farmers in Jammu and Kashmir suffered a major setback despite a bumper production, which was 0.4 mt more than last year, as the clampdown following the abrogation of the Article 370 affected the movement of apple from the region to other parts of the country.

Plants and flowers

The output of aromatic and medicinal plants is slated to be 0.822 mt, against 0.795 mt in 2018-19, while the production of flowers is expected to be 2.87 mt (2.91 mt last year). A slight increase in plantation crops output is on the cards and it is expected to be 16.41 mt in 2019-20.

An increase in coriander and chillies production is not expected to help spices production as that of garlic and cumin is slated to slide. The total spices production is projected at 9.37 mt, compared to 9.43 mt in the previous year.

 

Published on January 27, 2020
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