Co-operative Nafed on Friday said it has finalised bidders and issued orders for the timely supply of 15,000 tonnes of imported onions, which will help boost domestic availability and check price rise. Since the imported onions will be delivered at port cities, state governments have been asked to indent their quantity for faster dispatch of the commodity, it said. Nafed plans to float regular tenders for the supply of additional supplies of imported onions, it added.
"Yesterday (Thursday), Nafed received a good response in the tenders with offers to supply at Tuticorin and Mumbai.
Nafed very swiftly has issued confirmation to successful bidders last evening itself so that timely releases are made in the market," an official statement said.
This time, Nafed insisted the quality and size of onion match the choice of Indian consumers who generally prefer medium-sized onions whereas in overseas origins the sizes are bigger up to 80 mm, it said.
Unlike last year when MMTC had directly imported yellow, pink and red onions from Turkey and Egypt, this year private importers have been offered to supply.
This may ensure quality supply in minimal time, it added.
Nafed, on the directions of the central government, had floated tenders on October 31 for the supply of 15,000 tonnes of imported red onions at port towns loaded on truck and rail from importers.
Meanwhile, onion prices are showing a steady decline in wholesale and retail, Nafed said.
Arrivals from the old stock of rabi (winter) season and new arrivals from Kharif (summer) from Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan and other states have arrested the rising trend of onion prices.
Nafed has also opened the farm gate purchase centres in Maharashtra and Rajasthan to move the stock to consumption centres.
"It is hoped that with policy interventions of the government and augmented supply from a buffer, import and fresh arrival, the onion market will soon normalise," it added.
As per trade data, retail onion prices continue to rule in the range of Rs 80-100 per kg in some parts of the country.