The central government has procured 2.50 lakh tonnes of onion for creating a buffer stock in 2022-23, which is 0.50 lakh tonnes higher than the 2.0 lakh tonne buffer stock created in 2021-22.
The onions were procured from current rabi harvest for the price stabilisation buffer. The stocks have been procured by National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (Nafed) from farmers through the Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) in rabi onion growing states of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.
The stocks will be released through targeted open market sales and also offered to states/UTs and government agencies for supplies through retail outlets during the lean months (August-December) to moderate price rise. Open market releases will be targeted towards states/cities where prices are increasing over the previous month and also in key mandis to augment the overall availability, according to a release issued by the ministry of consumer affairs, food and public distribution.
The price stabilisation buffer serves the twin objectives of providing remunerative prices to onion farmers and augmenting the availability of onions at affordable prices to the consumers. Onion is a semi perishable vegetable and post-harvest losses due to physiological weight loss, rotting, sprouting etc are estimated to be substantial. Rabi onion harvested during April-June accounts for 65 per cent of India’s onion production and meets the consumer’s demand till kharif crop is harvested from October-November. It is therefore vital to successfully store onion in order ensure the regular supply.
To address the post-harvest losses of onions, including loss on account of sub-optimal storage and processing, the Department of Consumer Affairs has announced a Grand Challenge for development of “Technologies for Primary Processing, Storage and Valorisation of Onions”. The department is engaging with students, researchers and start-ups to develop a strategy for minimising post-harvest losses in onions
The Grand Challenge on Onions invites efficient and cost-effective solution for reducing the wastage of onions from students (UG/PG/Diploma), research scholars, faculty members, start-ups and individuals having interest in this area.
There are four challenge verticals, viz, improvements in the designs of storage structures, pre-harvesting stage, primary processing and valorisation: Value addition and utilisation of onion waste.
The challenge has been rolled out in three stages. There will be evaluation of ideas, technology solutions at three stages (Ideation to Proof-of-Concept stage, Proof of Concept to Product stage and Field Implementation) of the proposed technical solution and there is attractive prize money for shortlisted participants at each stage.
All the agriculture universities and central universities have been informed by DoCA about the challenge with the request to participate in the challenge for ensuring maximum participation. Interested participants may register themselves on https://doca.gov.in/goc/