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India exported 87000 tonnes of onion during Jan-Feb 2021 : Tomar

India exported around 87,000 tonnes of onion in the early two months of this year after the government lifted the ban on the export of the bulb since January 1, 2021, Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar on Tuesday informed Lok Sabha in a written reply.

Replying to the questions asked by T. R. Paarivendhar and A. Ganeshamurthi, members of the Lok Sabha, the Minister said, “The export of onion was free which was prohibited …to deal with the shortage in supply and increased domestic prices. The prohibition was lifted on Jan 1, 2021, in view of the good prospects of Kharif and late Kharif production estimates. After the recent lifting of the ban, the export of onion in the months of January & February 2021 has been 56,000 tonnes and 31,000 respectively, as against monthly average export of 2.18 lakh tonnes prior to the imposition of a ban in September 2020.”

India exported 11.50 lakh tonne of onion at a value of Rs 2,320.70 crore in 2019-20.

The All India average retail prices of onion in December 2020 was Rs. 44.33/kg whereas during January 2021 and February 2021 the prices have been Rs. 38.59/kg and Rs 44.08 /kg, respectively, he added.

Tomar said the government has approved for creation of a buffer stock of 2 lakh tonnes of onion for 2021-22 under the Price Stabilisation Fund (PSF).

The government released onion from the buffer stock of 1 lakh tonnes created from Rabi-2020 onion in a calibrated manner to moderate prices of the onion since September 2020. The government imposed a ban on onion export w.e.f. 14th September 2020. The government also invoked the EC Act and imposed a stock limit of 25 tonnes for wholesalers and 2 tonnes for retailers w.e.f. 23.10.2020. With the arrival of Kharif onion, the Government conveyed approval for procurement of one lakh tonnes of onion Kharif 2020 to recoup the buffer for further retail intervention, said the Minister.

India imported a total of over 65,546 tonnes of onion from October to the end of December, he informed the House.

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