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Gujarat government says no to imported onions

The Gujarat government, in a letter to the Union government, has refused to purchase imported onions for sale in the state. The government of India had earlier asked the state to purchase imported onions so that increased onion prices could be stabilized.

While refusing to purchase imported onions, the state government has contended that Gujarat’s onion farmers will be adversely affected if imported onions are sold in the state. Besides, the taste of imported onions falls short of the taste of locally grown onions, the state government letter says.

A senior state government official said that CM Vijay Rupani decided to write to the central government refusing to purchase imported onions after consultation with various stakeholders and seeking feedback of senior officials. “The CM has also already informed the Centre in writing that, Gujarat is one of the key onion producing states and our farmers are likely to be adversely impacted if we purchase imported onions. Moreover, people have not liked the taste of imported onions. Even if Gujarat purchases imported onions, there will be problem of demand. Moreover, the price of locally produced onions has come down,” the official said.

The Centre had written to all states, asking them to purchase imported onions and distribute these so that skyrocketing prices of onions could be brought down. However, the government received feedback from consumers that the imported onions did not taste as good as the locally produced varieties.

Prices of onions have stabilized at around Rs 60 per kg after selling for over Rs 100 per kg recently.

The central government, in December last year, approved import of 36,090 metric tonnes of onions amid the supply crunch. These onions were mainly imported from Turkey and Egypt. The country had last imported 1,987 tonnes of onion in 2015-16.

Source: TimesOfIndia

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