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Government has directed NCCF and NAFED to initiate procurement of 5 lakh tonnes of onion for the buffer requirement

Newdelhi:26/3/24; In the current year, the Government has directed NCCF and NAFED to initiate procurement of 5 lakh tonnes of onion for the buffer requirement directly from the farmers as Rabi-2024 harvest started arriving in the market. For the procurement, NAFED and NCCF are to pre-register the onion farmers to ensure that payments to the farmers are transferred to their bank accounts through Direct Benefit Transfer.

Rabi onion is critical for country’s onion availability as it contributes 72 -75% of annual production in the country. The Rabi onion is also crucial for ensuring year-round availability of onion as it has better shelf life compared to Kharif onion and can be stored for supplies till November- December.

It may be recalled that the Department of Consumer Affairs had, through NAFED and NCCF, purchased about 6.4 LMT of Onion during 2023-24 for the buffer stocking as well as intervention by way of simultaneous procurement and disposal. The continuous procurements by the NAFED and NCCF have guaranteed remunerative prices for onion farmers all through the year 2023. Subsequently, the Department of Consumer Affairs adopted retail sale intervention for the disposal of onion through retail outlets and mobile vans operated by NCCF, NAFED, Kendriya Bhandar, and other State controlled cooperatives at subsidized price of Rs.25 per kg last year. The timely intervention and calibrated release ensured stabilization of retail prices effectively without impacting farmer realization.

Global supply scenario and dry spell induced by El Niño had necessitated the Government to take up policy measures to regulate onion exports during FY 2023-24. These measures included 40% duty on onion exports imposed on 19th August 2023, imposition of Minimum Export Price (MEP) of USD 800 per MT with effect from 29th October, 2023, and export prohibition w.e.f. 8th December, 2023 to ensure availability of onion to domestic consumers at affordable prices.

The recent decision to extend onion export prohibition has been necessitated by the overall domestic availability against the prevailing international prices and global availability concerns.  The Government, meanwhile, has allowed exports to neighboring countries that rely on India for their domestic consumption requirements.  The Government has allowed the export of Onion to Bhutan (550 MT), Bahrain (3,000 MT), Mauritius (1,200 MT), Bangladesh (50,000 MT), and UAE (14,400 MT i.e. 3,600 MT/ quarter).

About Editor in chief

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.

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