Govt to add 56,800 tonnes’ onion storage capacity
"Government has decided to expand the storage facilities for onion in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha to reduce its wastage," Joint Secretary in Agriculture Ministry Shakil Ahammed told reporters here.
As per the plans, about 38,000 tonnes of storage capacity will be added in Madhya Pradesh, 12,000 tonnes in Maharashtra and 6,800 tonnes in Odisha, he added. With this step, the government hopes that there will be a smooth supply of onion across the year and prices will remain under control, he said. Shakil said this will also help farmers as in case of higher production they can store their crop rather than selling it on throw-away prices.
He also informed that the government is looking to frame a new national policy on cold chain to provide direction for the long-term approach for holistic infrastructure creation in both agri and horticulture products. The policy would be designed keeping in view the two aspects - farmers do not loose on their produce and consumer gets the best of the price in the entire supply value chain of the marketing of agriculture and horticulture produce. Exceeding the target, the Centre has procured 20,000 tonnes of onion from farmers to create a buffer stock to be utilised for market intervention in the event of price rise during a lean season.
Last year, the government had procured 8,000 tonnes of onion but it was done after the retail prices had gone through the roof to about Rs 80-90/kg.The government, however, this year decided to buy on time and set a target to procure 15,000 tonnes of onion from the rabi crop of the 2015-16 crop year (July-June).