Agri Business

Onion production was down 23% till Nov, leading to short-supply: Tomar

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on December 12, 2019

The State government has so far purchased 35,000 quintals of onion worth Rs. 25 crore from Sholapur, Alwar, Kurnool and Tadepalligudem at prices varying from Rs. 40 to Rs. 120

Contract finalised for additional imports

Onion production in the country was nearly 23 per cent less till November as compared to the projected output and this led to short-supply resulting soaring prices, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said on Thursday.

According to the estimates provided by major onion-producing States — Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan — onion production till November should have been 69.9 lakh tonnes, but the actual production was likely to have been 53.73 lakh tonnes, Tomar said while replying to a debate in the Lok Sabha on crop loss during the 2019 kharif season.



According to the 2018-19 estimates, total annual production of onions in the country was projected at 234.9 lakh tonnes, Tomar said, adding that the rabi season accounts for 70 per cent of onion production, kharif 20 per cent and post-kharif season 10 per cent.

Import contract

Meanwhile, the government on Thursday finalised fresh contracts to import an additional 12,660 tonnes of onions, taking the total contracted supply to nearly 30,000 tonnes so far. The imported onions are expected to arrive on Indian ports by December 27, an official statement said. Besides, the Department of Consumer Affairs has directed the public sector MMTC to issue fresh tenders for an additional 15,000 tonnes.

The Agriculture MInister said more than 64 lakh hectares of agricultural land was affected by heavy rainfall and inundation during the monsoon soon. Among the worst-affected States were Rajasthan, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Assam, he said. Many kharif crops were affected in different States.

While some States have been provided compensation under the National Disaster Response Fund and State Disaster Response funds, the process is on to get claims payouts released under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY).

The Minister said there was a misconception that PMFBY was designed in such a way as to unduly benefit insurance companies. Insurance firms collected a total of ₹47,000 crore as premium during the first two years of PMFBY, and the cumulative claim payout during this period was ₹38,351 crore, which is about 81 per cent of the total funds collected, he added.

If Parliamentarians thought that the scheme could be improved further, the government is ready to have discussions on it, Tomar said. He further said the threat of climate change to Indian agriculture is real and government institutions, particularly the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), are working on different foodgrain crop varieties that can withstand the impact of climate change.

Published on December 12, 2019

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