Onion onions

Centre (Indian Government) Estimates Onion Production to Plummet by 15%

Mintec Global
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Agriculture Ministry’s Projections and Concerns for Onion Production

The Indian Ministry for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare has projected a marginal decrease of 15.7% in onion production, estimating it to be 25.47 million tonnes in 2023-24, down from 30.21 million tonnes the previous year. This projection is part of the overall horticulture crop estimate, which remains relatively flat at 355.25 million tonnes. The drop in onion production is attributed to lower yields in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Rajasthan, raising concerns about potential impacts on prices in the agriculture sector.

Overall Horticulture Crop Estimate and Varied Production Trends

Despite the dip in onion production, the overall horticulture crop estimate for 2023-24 stands at 355.25 million tonnes, almost identical to the previous year’s final estimate. The first advance estimate reveals a marginal increase in the area under horticulture crops, reaching 28.77 million hectares. The data indicates a potential upward revision in subsequent estimates for production. While potato production is expected to decrease by 2% to 58.99 million tonnes, various vegetables and fruits show mixed trends. Cabbage, cauliflower, pumpkin, tomato, banana, and mango will increase production in 2023-24.

Government Measures and Export Trends

The government is restricting exports from India and selling buffer stocks in specific high-price regions to address market trends. Despite a bumper production of late kharif crops leading to lower prices in January-February, recent price hikes are attributed to a substantial drop in rabi season potato crop production in Maharashtra. The Ministry’s proactive release of the first advance estimates three months ahead of schedule aims to provide insights into horticulture trends and potential challenges.

In conclusion, the Agriculture Ministry’s projections indicate a 15.7% decrease in onion production, raising concerns about potential price impacts. The overall horticulture crop estimate for 2023-24 remains stable at 355.25 million tonnes, with mixed production trends for various vegetables and fruits. Despite a 2% decline in potato production, the government’s measures, including export restrictions and buffer stock sales, aim to address market shifts. The proactive release of the first advance estimates reflects a commitment to informing stakeholders and understanding potential challenges in the agriculture sector. As stakeholders monitor these projections, strategic planning will be essential for adapting to the market changes.