Onion export of the country has doubled in the first five months of the 2016-17 financial year as against the corresponding period of the previous fiscal following removal of the Minimum Export Price (MEP).
National Agricultural Co-operative Marketing Federation (Nafed) sources said the onion export increased by 135% to 10.63 lakh tonnes between April and August as against 4.60 lakh tonnes during same period in the 2015-16 financial year.
Nafed director Nanasaheb Patil said, "There had been an excess production of around 25 lakh tonnes. Though the export has doubled, the business is not much considering the excess production. Moreover, there is no use of the rise in export as the farmers were badly hit because of the decline in the wholesale prices. They also could not ensure returns of the their production cost."
He added, "The government should have taken efforts to increase the export through central agencies like Nafed and Small Farmers' Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) to stabilise onion prices in the domestic market. This would have helped the farmers. We had proposed the Centre to export 5-10 lakh tonnes of onions through central agencies. But this did not work out.
The Nafed director said the government only reduced or increased the MEP in accordance with the situations but there was no proper export policy.
In August 2015, the average wholesale onion price had recorded an all-time high of Rs 5,700 a quintal because of scarcity. Following this, the Centre increased the MEP of onions in phases up to USD700 to stabilise prices. In December (2015), the Centre removed MEP of onions following a decline in wholesale prices. The zero MEP resulted in the rise of export.
Original Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com
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