New Delhi  :
Discover how India’s Consumer Affairs Department plans to stabilize onion prices by releasing a massive 3 lakh metric tonnes of buffer stock. Explore the strategies and innovations behind this crucial move .

The Consumer Affairs Department of India has announced the release of 3.00 lakh metric tonnes of onion stock. This strategic decision, led by the visionary leadership of Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh, is set to impact both the national onion market and the average household.

Understanding the Decision

Following a crucial meeting between Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh and the Managing Directors of the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) and the National Cooperative Consumers’ Federation (NCCF) on August 10, 2023, the blueprint for releasing the buffer stock was finalized. The meticulous planning reflects the government’s commitment to addressing the prevailing challenges of onion price volatility.

Targeting Markets for Impact

The release strategy of onion stocks underscores a nuanced approach that takes into account the specific dynamics of regional markets. Emphasis is placed on states or regions experiencing retail prices that exceed the all-India average. Furthermore, priority is given to those areas where the rate of price increase over the previous month and year surpasses a predetermined threshold. This calculated approach ensures that the impact of the released stock is maximized in areas that require immediate intervention.

Exploring Disposal Avenues

The government’s proactive stance extends to exploring innovative avenues for onion disposal. In addition to traditional methods, the possibility of e-auctions and retailing through e-commerce platforms is being actively considered. This forward-looking approach aligns with the changing consumer landscape, offering more convenient access to this essential vegetable.

Quantity and Pace in Tune with Demand

The government’s strategy is rooted in adaptability. The quantum and pace of disposal are closely monitored, ensuring alignment with prevailing prices and availability conditions. This dynamic approach ensures that the objective of providing onions at affordable prices to consumers remains unwavering.

Scaling Up the Buffer

The significance of this move is underscored by the sheer scale of the onion procurement. A staggering 3.00 lakh metric tonnes of onions have been amassed as part of the buffer stock for the current year. This number can be further augmented if market conditions dictate. This scalable strategy highlights the government’s commitment to mitigating any potential shortage while maintaining stable prices.

Collaborative Efforts and Innovations

The collaboration between NAFED, NCCF, and the Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC) has yielded promising results. As part of an effort to reduce storage losses, a pilot project involving the irradiation of onions was initiated. This innovative approach, where 1,000 metric tonnes of onions were irradiated and stored in controlled atmosphere storage, showcases the government’s willingness to embrace science and technology to address practical challenges.

Ensuring a Steady Supply for Households

Ultimately, the government’s multifaceted approach aims to provide a steady and affordable supply of onions to households across the nation. This initiative reflects a broader commitment to ensuring food security and economic stability for citizens.


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