On Monday, the Agriculture Ministry released its first forecast, which projects overall onion production in the country to increase by seven percent to 24.45 million tonnes in the current crop year ending June 2020.
The government said that onion crops were grown in 12.93 lakh hectare in the 2019-20 crop year (July-June), slightly higher than 12.20 lakh hectare achieved in the previous year. Consequently, its production is estimated to increase to 24.45 million tonnes this year from 22.81 million tonnes in the 2018-19 crop year.
The increased output will help curb prices of onion that crossed Rs 100/kg in the last couple of months on supply constraints due to damage to Kharif crops from a late monsoon.
Onion is produced in Kharif as well as rabi season of farming. The government said that around 22 percent of Kharif onion crop was damaged due to excess rainfall.
Amid a sharp rise in prices, the government was forced to import onion to meet demand. Onion prices have curbed from Rs 160/kg at the end of 2019 to Rs 60/kg.
Production of potato is also estimated to rise to 51.94 million tonnes this year from 50.19 million tonnes in 2018-19. Tomato production is also pegged slightly higher at 19.32 million tonnes as against 19 million tonnes in the said period.
A marginal fall in production of beans, parwal, pumpkin and tapioca is estimated this year by the ministry.
However, the overall production of vegetables is estimated to be higher at 188 million tonnes in 2019-20 crop year from 183 million tonnes in the previous year.