Boosting Farmer’s Income: Centre Directs Nafed and NCCF to Purchase Red Onions Directly from Farmers

Boosting Farmer’s Income: The Indian government has taken proactive measures to ensure that farmers’ interests are protected amid falling onion prices. The Ministry of Agriculture has directed two cooperatives, the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Limited (Nafed) and the National Consumers Cooperative Federation of India Limited (NCCF), to intervene in the market and procure red onions directly from farmers. The procured onions will be sold simultaneously in consumption centers.

According to the Ministry, the drop in onion prices is due to increased production in other states, reducing the country’s dependence on supplies from Nashik, the major producing district. In response to the falling prices, Nafed has already purchased 4,000 tonnes of red onions at above Rs 900 per quintal directly from farmers. The cooperative has opened 40 procurement centers where farmers can sell their stock and receive payment online. Nafed has also made arrangements for the movement of the stock from purchase centers to various cities across the country.

To ensure a smooth supply chain during lean seasons, the government has been creating a buffer stock of onions in recent years under the Price Stabilization Fund scheme. In the previous year, Nafed purchased 2.51 lakh tonnes of rabi onions for the buffer. This year, the government aims to buy 2.5 lakh tonnes.

The Centre is in touch with state governments and closely monitoring the market to take additional interventions, if required, for the benefit of farmers. The country’s onion production is estimated to be higher at 318 lakh tonnes in the 2022-23 crop year (July-June) compared to the previous year.

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