Already, cooperative bodies NCCF and Nafed are retailing buffer onion at subsidised rate on behalf of the central government. While Nafed has so far set up 329 retail points consisting of mobile vans and station outlets in 55 cities across 21 states, NCCF has set up 457 retail points in 54 cities in 20 states, it said.
Kendriya Bhandar too has started retail supply of onion through its outlets across Delhi-NCR from November 3.
‘Safal Mother Dairy will start from this weekend. The retail sale of onions to consumers in Telangana and other southern states is being taken up by Hyderabad Agricultural Cooperatives Association (HACA),’ the consumer affairs ministry said in a statement.
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The government has maintained a buffer stock of 5 lakh tonne of onion for the current year and plans to create a buffer of an additional 2 lakh tonne.
Due to recent measures taken by the government, wholesale prices are showing a declining trend but it takes time to reflect in retail markets.
Wholesale price of onion was Rs 4,800 per quintal on October 28 in Lasalgaon market in Maharashtra, as against Rs 3,650 per quintal on November 3, the statement said. There was a decline of 24 per cent in a week.
‘Retail prices are expected to show a similar decline from the coming week,’ the ministry noted.
It may be recalled that when prices of tomato shot up from last week of June 2023 due to supply disruptions caused by monsoon rains and white fly infestation, the government had intervened by procuring tomatoes through NCCF and Nafed from producing states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra and supplied at a highly subsidised rate to consumers in major consumption centres.
Also, to ensure availability and affordability of dal to ordinary households, the government has launched Bharat Dal at a subsidized price of Rs 60 per kg.
Bharat Dal is made available for retail sale to consumers and for supplies to Army, and welfare schemes through NAFED, NCCF, Kendriya Bhandar, Safal and state controlled cooperatives in Telangana and Maharashtra.