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Shortfall of 15.8 lakh tonnes of onion has caused price spike: Minister

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“There is a shortfall of over 15.8 lakh tonnes in onion production, which has caused a spike in onion prices,” said Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar in Lok Sabha, replying to a discussion on crop loss and its impact on farmers.

“There is definitely a shortage of onions...The current problem [price rise] is due to this. And this is natural. Our government has taken several measures, including banning its export and allowing import,” he said.

Talking about the shortage, the Minister said States placed the expected onion production at 69.9 lakh tonnes in November, but actual onion production was likely to be 53.73 lakh tonnes.

To deal with the problem, the government had banned the export of onions and ordered imports, said Mr. Tomar, adding, “I have also written to the Chief Ministers to take steps to deal with the issue.”

Other issues

Speaking on other farmer-related issues, Mr. Tomar said the government was working to make the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna more beneficial to farmers. He asserted that its outcome had been “very satisfactory”, and added that over 80% claims made under the scheme had been accepted.

Replying to MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury’s allegation that the government was working for traders, not farmers, the Minister said, “Over 40.2 million farmers are getting real-time information on the weather through mobile text messages. Also, many varieties of crops have been introduced as they are seen to be better adapted to changing weather patterns.”

Mr. Chowdhury alleged that poverty had doubled under the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government, and India’s economy would not change unless the situation of farmers did.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 1:02:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/shortfall-of-158-lakh-tonnes-of-onion-has-caused-price-spike-minister/article30289598.ece

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