NEW DELHI: Onion exports doubled in the first half of this financial year (April-September), due to the government decision to extend to this the Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) incentive, beside ending the earlier minimum export price (MEP).
Data from the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (Apeda) showed total export at 946,603 tonnes for April-September, from 488,446 tonnes in the same period last year. Despite this doubling of quantity, overall realisation was only marginally higher (Rs 1,204 crore, from the earlier Rs 1,156 crore) with a sharp fall in global prices.
“Exports have jumped due to removal of MEP. Since this was removed, India started shipping onions to all deficient countries — Sri Lanka, Far East, Middle East,” said Ajit Shah, President, Horticulture Exporters Association.
To arrest falling prices, the Government in end-August introduced a five per cent incentive (MEIS) on export of “onion fresh or chilled”, initially till December and then for another three months till March 2017.
The Government had removed the peak $700 a tonne MEP last year in phases, to nil by last month. “Following the MEP removal, exporters have started shipping onion to overseas markets on their own. They would earlier sell on the basis of orders,” said Atul Shah, Director, Agricultural Produce Market Committee, at Pimpalgaon (Nashik district), one of the biggest wholesale centres.