The total production of onion during the year 2015-16 is estimated at around 202.14 lakhs MT as per the 2nd advance estimates. Out of this, around 65% produce which comes in rabi season is partly used for domestic consumption as well as storage for further consumption in different parts of the country from June to October/November along with the fresh produce of early kharif and kharif onion.
The major onion storing states are Maharashtra, Gujarat, M.P., Rajasthan and Bihar. As per the NHRDF’s estimate, around 45-46 lakh MT onions have been stored in the current season by the farmers as well as traders which is around 15% more compared to last year and quality is better. Around 12-15 lakh MT onions are required per month for consumption in the country.
Kharif onion 2016 Status:
In 2015-16, kharif onion area was about 35000 Ha due to drought. During the current kharif season 2016-17, till now onion seed sowing for about 9000 Ha area has been done by the farmers and farmers are not preferring onion crop due to low prices prevailing in the markets and very scantly rains.
During last year 2015-16 area under Kharif onion, was around 65000-70000 Ha in Gujarat state. During kharif 2016-17 only for about 10000-12000 Ha area, sowing has been done till date. Transplanting of onion is almost nil till 1st week of July 2016.
In 2015-16 kharif onion was grown in 25000-27000 Ha in the state. The kharif nursery is sown in the state during 15th June – 30th July which mostly starts onset of rains. In 2016-17, it is estimated that nursery for about 9000 Ha has been raised till now. The total kharif onion crop is expected to be about 30% less than last year due to depressing market rates of onion and erratic monsoon.
In 2015-16 due to drought like situation kharif onion was less. Early kharif onion crop was about 6000 Haand total kharif onion crop was about 72000 Ha.In 2016-17 early kharif onion has been raised in about 5000 Ha. However, nursery for kharif onion crop for about 1,11,000 Ha has been sown till date and it will continue up-to 15 July 2016.
Kharif onion sowing season is long in Andhra Pradesh. Accordingly, Early kharif, kharif and late kharif onion crop is taken here. In 2015-16 early kharif onion was taken in about 2500-3000 Ha whereas kharif onion area was about 4000-5000 Ha. Late kharif onion was about 3000-3500 Ha. Thus total kharif onion crop was about 10000-11000 Ha. In 2016-17 due to erratic weather and rains Early kharif crop is about 2000 Ha and kharif crop planting till now is about 1500 Ha.
Early kharif onion area in Tamilnadu under common onion during 2016-17 is around 1400 Ha which is similar to last year’s area.
In Rajasthan kharif onion crop is grown by two methods-‘nursery raising (seedling)’ and ‘onion bulblets’.Nursery sowing period is 20 June – 15 August. In 2015-16 kharif onion crop was about 19000 Ha. About 12,000 Ha out of this was grown through onion bulblets and balance 7000 Ha was grown through seedlings(nursery).During current year 2016-17 nursery sowing for about 2000 Ha area has taken place by those farmers who have assured irrigation. Kharif crop through onion bulblets is expected to be 14000 Ha depending on rains.
In 2015-16 kharif onion was grown in about 11000-12000 Ha. In 2016-17 kharif onion nursery sown for about 8000 Ha till date & will continue up to 15 July 2016.
In 2015-16 kharif onion was grown in about 5800 Ha. Due to low onion price and delayed rains it is expected that about 4500 Ha kharif onion may be grown in 2016-17.
Total kharif onion crop planting in Bihar during last year, 2015-16, was around 1200 Ha. During the current kharif season 2016-17 nursery sowing is in progress and the nursery sown till now may cover only around 200 ha.
In 2015-16 kharif onion was grown in about 750 Ha. In 2016-17 kharif onion nursery sowing just started &it will continue till 20th July 2016.
Area under Kharif onion during last year was 700 Ha. In 2016-17 kharif onion nursery sowing just started &it will continue till 20th July 2016.
The report indicates that currently farmer’s sentiment to grow kharif onion is quite low due to low market price of onion; delay in onset of rains in kharif onion producing areas of country, complacency of state governments towards kharif onion due to current glut like situation being faced by them.
National scenario for onion availability in 2016-17 may be grim because of following reasons-
Onion is exclusively stored in Naturally Ventilating Go downs, unlike potato which are predominantly stored in refrigerated cold stores. Hence shelf life of stored onion is generally up to October 2016.
Onion availability in the country during Nov-1st Fortnight to mid-March is mainly from kharif / late kharif onion crop. This year till now planting for kharif onion is very low as compared to even last year because of inadequate rains and complacency of state govts towards onion because of glut like situation being faced by them. Less planting of kharif onion crop may affects availability of onion w.e.f. 15th Oct – 15th March 2017.