NASHIK : India will possibly register highest record for exporting onions and may export about 23,00,000 to 24,00,000 Metric Tons (MT) this season.
The highest exports of onion have not gone beyond 18,00,000 MT and the Maharashtra and Central Governments deserve credit for three major decisions which helped the onion crop.
The decisions are – removing the Minimum Export Price (MEP), extending Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) for onion until 31 March 2017, and giving more railway rakes to ship onion.
However, with a bumper harvest of ‘red’ variety onion crop, the Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) yards in Nashik are flooded with onion and prices remain low.
NAFED Director and Lasalgaon Kharedi Vikri Sangh Chairman Nanasaheb Patil said that the MEP was kept at Zero since December 2015. “Earlier it used to fluctuate and it affected exports. In my several years’ experience as Lasalgaon APMC Chairman, exports have not gone over 18,00,000 MT. By November 2016 exports had touched 20,00,000 MT. By March 2017 about 300,000 to 400,000 MT extra onion is likely to be exported,” Patil stated.
MEIS under Foreign Trade Policy of India (FTP 2015-20) is a 5 percent incentive given on export of onion.
This subsidy has helped exporters to purchase onion for exports and keep prices stable in the markets. Earlier the scheme deadline was December 2016 but the CM Devendra Fadnavis lobbied intensively with the Centre for extending the scheme until 31 March 2017.