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Release of stored produce will stabilize market prices of onions and potatoes

The Indian government has indicated that the release of stored produce will stabilize the market prices of key vegetables like onions and potatoes. The Ministry of Agriculture attributes this anticipated stabilization to a successful monsoon season, which has boosted the sowing of horticultural crops, notably onions and potatoes, during the current kharif season. An official from the ministry noted that the increased release of rabi onions by farmers, driven by higher market prices and the risk of storage losses due to elevated atmospheric moisture from monsoon rains, is contributing to price stabilization.

For the kharif season, the targeted area for onion cultivation is 361,000 hectares, marking a 27% increase from the previous year. Karnataka, a leading state in kharif onion production, has completed sowing in 30% of its targeted 150,000 hectares. Sowing is also progressing well in other major producing states. Although primarily a rabi crop, kharif potatoes are cultivated in states like Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Meghalaya, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu, with the harvest from September to November enhancing market availability.

The targeted area for kharif potato cultivation has seen a 12% increase from last year, with Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand achieving nearly full sowing coverage. A total of 273,200 tonnes of rabi potatoes have been stored, deemed sufficient for consumption needs. The stored potato supply influences market prices from March to December.

The persistently high prices of onions and potatoes this year are attributed to last year's reduced output, exacerbated by a dry summer and low reservoir water levels since April, affecting the supply of various vegetables and shifting consumer demand towards onions, potatoes, and tomatoes.


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