Sharing his views on outlook for onion prices, Siraj Hussain Former Agriculture Secretary, said, "As late as end of August the government estimate of onion production was similar to last year that is about 23.5 million tonne. Normally, we consume 20-21 million tonne and we export 2 million tonnes but the late rains in September and October damaged the crops, which was somehow missed it seems."
However, by that time it was too late to buy onion for the government under the prices stabilisation fund even though prices stabilisation fund has lot of money. "So, they got late, they could not buy and then the production went down and so the prices are up. "
Unfortunately the kharif crop also got damaged because of late rains, so I think we will have to bear with this price rise for the time being, he added.
He further added, that the government has done everything that was possible but one must remember that this problem cannot be solved in an adhoc manner. "Maharashtra produces 8.8 million tonnes of onion and the storage capacity in Maharashtra is 53000-54000 tonne. So, against a production of 8.8 million tonnes, if the storage capacity is 54000 tonne, you can imagine what will happen."
This shows us that the country has to invest in storage and we have to find a technological solution which can prolong the storage period of rabi onion, then only this problem will be solved otherwise any natural calamity will create the problems year after year, he said.