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India: Onion exports decline by 32.4% in current fiscal

The export of onions has declined by 32.67, to 8.53 lakh tonnes in the first eight months (April to November) of the current fiscal 2013-'14.

Onions are exported to Malaysia, Dubai, Qatar, Kuwait, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Bangladesh, Nepal and other countries from Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and other states.

"The export of onions has declined by 32.67 per cent to 8.53 lakh tonnes, against the export of 12.67 lakh tonnes during the corresponding period in the last fiscal 2012-'13. The decline in export is due to reduced supply over the past few months and a higher Minimum Export Price (MEP) set by the government," an official of the National Horticulture Research and Development Foundation ( NHRDF) told TOI on Friday.

The union government had revised the earlier MEP of onion, which stood at $1,150 a tonne, to $850 a tonne on December 16. With domestic prices of the crop falling sharply, farmers had strongly sought removal of MEP and had staged a rasta roko on the Mumbai-Agra national highway on Thursday and carried out similar protests over the past week. Finally, the government on Thursday reduced the MEP to $350 a tonne.

In 2012-13, the country had exported 18.22 lakh tonnes of onions, raking in an export revenue of Rs 2,294.90-crore. India's annual onion production is estimated to be about 131.47 lakh tonnes, with 7.73 lakh hectares of area under onion cultivation. Onion is grown in the kharif, late kharif (also called rangada) and rabi (summer) seasons. In 2012-13, the area under onion production was 9.92 lakh hectares, including 2.62 lakh hectares in Maharashtra, 1.82 lakh hectares in Karnataka, 96,880 hectares in Madhya Pradesh and 84,130 hectares in Andhra Pradesh.

In 2012-13, onion production stood at 166 lakh tonnes, including 47.63 lakh tonnes from Maharashtra, 25.23 lakh tonnes from Karnataka, 21.50 lakh tonnes from Madhya Pradesh and 15.14 lakh tonnes from Andhra Pradesh.

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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