The Centre has decided to create a buffer stock of 1 lakh tonnes of Onion in 2020 to avoid the repeat of the steep rise in the prices of the kitchen staple like this year, reports The Hindu.
According to the report, the moves comes as the 56,000 tonnes onion stock created by the government in the current year failed to contain the prices which are still above Rs 100 per kg in most of the cities across the country. The government had to import onions from other countries through the state-run MMTC to meet its demand.
“The issue was discussed in detail in the recent meeting of the group of ministers (GoM), headed by Home Minister Amit Shah. It was decided that higher buffer stock of about 1 lakh tonne will be created for next year,” an official was quoted in the report as saying.
The National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED), an apex organisation of marketing cooperatives, which had maintained the buffer stock of onion on behalf of the government, will continue to do so next year.
The NAFED will source the onion crop directly from farmers between March and July, the official said.
As per the report, the onion supply this year fell largely due to factors like late monsoon and later untimely rains in key growing states likes Karnataka and Maharashtra.
The government tried to boost the domestic availability by banning onion exports, limiting onion stocks kept by traders besides sale of onions at subsidised rates from its buffer stock.
However, the buffer stock of the government has reportedly been exhausted and now it is selling the imported ones. The government has contracted about 45,000 tonnes of onions from countries like Turkey, Afghanistan and Egypt though the MMTC.
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