The estimated annual onion production is about 23.5 million tonnes, India exports about 3 million tonnes. Considering 10 per cent spoilage and pilferage, total availability of onion for domestic consumers is about 17-18 million tonnes.
The monthly onion consumption in our country is around 15 lakh metric tons. That turns to be 50 thousand metric tons of onion demand per day. When the Onion prices shot up to Rs. 100 few weeks ago in the wholesale market, the daily supply was as low as 10 to 12 % of the requirement.
The reasons behind such low supply this year include:
- Lower Onion production due to 30% crop damage due to excess rains during monsoon and extended post monsoon showers
- Hoarding by traders, with the ulterior motive making landfall gains when prices shoot up
Keeping these in mind, the govt shot into action with a slew of measures such as banning the exports, importing more from other countries to make up for the shortage and issued advisories to the states to crackdown on hoarders.
These measures alongside quicker harvests by farmers to cash in on high prevailing prices and better crop prospects in January will ease the prices.