NEW DELHI : Onion exports from India have recorded a 10-year high in 2016-17, with the Country recording export of 34.92 lakh tonnes (lt) of the onion. The Central Government’s decision to provide repeated extension to the export subsidy and zero minimum export price (MEP) of the produce has fuelled the exports in the last year or so. Exports of onions play a crucial role in balancing the domestic price of the produce in the wholesale markets. India consumes almost 90 per cent of the home-grown produce, but 10 per cent export is necessary to prevent a price crash. Exports had virtually stopped in 2014 due to the Central Government’s decision to increase the minimum export price (MEP) in view of the steep increase in onion prices. Due to a glut in the prices of the bulb in 2015, the Central Government had again reduced the MEP to zero (0) in December 2015. Also, the Central Government had announced a 5 per cent export subsidy for onions to clear the glut in produce. Since 2015, the exports of onions have seen a steady rise and at the end of the financial year 2016-17, 34.92 lt of the onion was exported out of the country. This was almost three times the exports of the previous year when 11.14 lt of onions was sent to foreign shores. On an average, around 10 lt of onions are exported from the country every year. The United Arab Emirates (UAE), Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malayasia and Russia are major export destinations for Indian onion.