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Export Of Onion from India

Onion is the largest vegetable produced and consumed not only in India but also
in the world. Although, it is classified as vegetable, it has special qualities,
which add to taste and flavour to food and hence it is mainly used in India cui
sine and culinary preparations. In addition to its use in cuisine, it is also re
lished in raw form with meals. Onion is consumed by all classes of people-poor a
nd rich and hence assumes a place of essential item. Onion possess very good nut
ritive and medicinal values- the nutritive ingredients of onion are as follows (
Quantities per 100 gm):
1 Water (%) 86.60 gm.
2 Carbohydrates 11.00 gm.
3 Proteins 1.20 gm.
4 Fats 0.10 gm.
5 Minerals 0.40 gm.
6 Calcium 0.18 gm.
7 Phosphorus 0.05 gm.
8 Iron 0.07 gm.
9 Vitamin B1 120
10 Vitamin C 11
11 Nicotinic acid 0.4 mili gm.
12 Ribo flavin 10
13 Calorific value 51
Onion has both glucose (reducing sugar) and sucrose (non-reducing sugar). The sp
ecial quality of onion is its smell (flavour) on account of which it is commonly
used in food and masala preparations. The pungent taste of onion is due to vola
tile oil Allyl Propyl Disulphide present in it.
There are hundreds of varieties of Onion grown in the world. According to colour
, there are red, white and yellow types. Red and white varieties are grown in In
dia. Although, onion is consumed in all the countries of the world, it is cultiv
ated only in some countries. Hence it has export market and export value. Area u
nder onion cultivation in the world is about 20 lakh hectares. India has the lar
gest area of about 4 lakh ha. (20%) followed by China about 3 lakh ha. But the p
roduction is the highest in China (48 lakh MT) as against India (44 lakh MT) due
to higher productivity in China (16 MT/ha than India 14 MT/ha). In India, of th
e four lakh hectares of area under onion, the maximum area of about 95,000 ha (a
bout 24%) is in Maharashtra. Other important states are Karnataka, Orissa, U.P.,
Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, M.P., Tamil Nadu, Bihar and Gujarat.
Trends of Exports
Figures of domestic production exports and shares of exports for the last 10 yea
rs are given in Table 1. During the last 10 years, onion production has increase
d with some ups and down. Onion production is known for its fluctuations for som
e reasons, particularly in Maharashtra State, which is the largest producer. By
and large, there is increase in production with annual growth rate of 3.59%. How
ever exports have increased of faster rate with annual growth rate of 7.64%. The
share of exports has also increased from about 7% in 1988-89 to about 14% in 19
97-98. Onion is a pride item of agricultural exports earning valuable foreign ex
change to the country. Of the total fresh vegetable exports 67% share is of onio
n. The value exports has increased from Rs. 162.56 crores in 1992-93 has to Rs.
295 crores in 1997-98. However there was some decline in exports to Rs. 176 cror
es in 1998-99 due to reduction in production in the previous year (1997-98).
Table 1
Share of exports in domestic production of Onion
Year Domestic Production
(Lakh MT) Exports
(Lakh MT) Share of exports
in production
1988-89 32.24 2.14 6.64
1989-90 29.83 2.27 7.67
1990-91 38.44 2.40 6.25
1991-92 35.85 3.71 10.35
1992-93 35.90 2.72 7.57
1993-94 36.16 4.01 11.09
1994-95 38.83 4.97 12.80
1995-96 39.89 4.34 10.88
1996-97 44.28 5.13 11.58
1997-98 31.66* 4.47 14.12*
growth rate (%) 3.59 7.64 -
* Production of onion was hampered due to heavy and untimely rains in Maharashtr
a in this year.
Direction of Trade
Onion is exported from India to in all 38 countries in varying quantities. Expor
t to major countries is given in Table 2 along with quantities, value and unit v
alue or price per kg. Fourteen countries shown in the table were seen as importa
nt importing countries. Maximum quantity (23.30%) was imported by U.A.E. followe
d by Malaysia (22.16%), Sri Lanka (16.06%), Bangladesh (11.76%) and Singapore (9
.02%). These five countries together imported nearly 83% onions. Total quantity
exported in the year 1998-99 was 215.69 thousand tonnes valued at Rs. 176.05 cro
res. Regarding unit value, the highest price was offered by Singapore (Rs. 11.35
per kg) and the lowest by Pakistan (Rs. 6.18 per kg). The overall average price
received was Rs. 8.16 per kg. Most of the importing countries are Asian countri
es and hence prices offered are relatively low.
Varieties Exported
Onions of four sizes are exported
Big size - 4 to 6 cm. Diameter
Medium - 3 to 4 cm. Diameter
Small - 2 to 3 cm. Diameter
Podisu - 2.5 to 3.5 cm. Diameter
The varieties of different sizes exported are:
Big - Pusa Red, Agrifound Light Red, N-2-4-1 Agrifound Dark Red, N-53, Nasik Loc
al, Bellary Red, etc.
Small – Agrifound Rose, Bangalore Rose, Podisa, Multore, Nattu etc.
Nearly 90-92% of onion exported is of big size.
Table 2
Exports of onion from India – Direction of trade (1998-99)
Country Quantity Value Unit Value
(000 MT) % Rs. In Crores % Rs/Kg
U.A.E 51.337 23.80 38.98 22.14 7.59
Malaysia 47.793 22.16 42.68 24.24 8.93
Sri Lanka 34.636 16.06 27.10 15.39 7.82
Bangladesh 25.448 11.76 15.88 9.02 6.24
Singapore 19.451 9.02 22.07 12.54 11.35
Saudi Arabia 10.942 5.07 7.84 4.45 7.17
Pakistan 7.898 3.66 4.88 2.77 6.18
Mauritius 5.420 2.51 4.69 2.66 8.65
Kuwait 2.480 1.15 1.94 1.10 7.82
Reunion 1.897 0.88 2.14 1.22 11.28
Oman 1.419 0.66 0.94 0.53 6.62
Qatar 1.410 0.65 0.99 0.56 7.02
Baharin 1.403 0.65 1.37 0.78 9.76
Indonesia 1.120 0.52 1.04 0.59 9.28
Other 24 countries 3.040 1.41 3.51 1.99 11.55
Total 215.694 100.00 176.05 100.00 8.16
Economics of Onion Cultivation
• This chapter comprehensively analyze the various components of productio
n and marketing costs, marketing channels adopted by the farmers, producer’s sha
re in consumer’s rupee, price spread, etc. in respect of this important valued c
rop in this state.
Costs and returns structure of Onion production
Sl.No. Particulars Belgaum Dharwad Bijapur Raichur
Gulbarga Overall
A. Variable Costs
1. Seeds 1332.65 16858.65 2352.00 2567.45
1991.99 1985.95
(7.95) (9.35) (7.99) (8.23) (7.50) (8.14)
2. Farm yard manure 2277.79 2735.81 3366.90
3276.33 1319.50 2595.27
(13.59) (15.18) (11.43) (10.50)
(4.97) (10.64)
3. Fertilizers 2807.55 2526.03 4003.15 4486.75
1908.07 3146.31
(16.75) (14.01) (13.59) (14.38)
(7.18) (12.89)
4. P. P. Chemicals 251.22 210.00 418.71 690.93 130.12 340.20
(1.50) (1.16) (1.42) (2.21) (0.49) (1.39)
5. Human Labour 5103.35 5828.40 10970.40 12736.00
11619.60 9251.47
(30.44) (32.33) (37.26) (40.81)
(43.75) (37.91)
6. Bullock labour 1960.00 1960.00 636.00 1084.50
1680.50 1664.20
(11.69) (10.87) (5.56) (3.47) (6.33) (6.82)
7 . .Irrigation — — 2525.47 2116.27 2546.13
(8.58) (6.78) (9.59) (9.82)
8. Repairs and maintenance 65.77 60.99 203.04 179.95 187.22
(0.39) (0.34) (0.69) (0.58) (0.70) (0.57)
9. Interest on variable cost 965.88 1050.48 1783.30
1899.67 2993.64 1738.59
(5.76) (5.83) (6.06) (6.09) (11.27) (7.12)
Sub-total 14764.21 16057.36 27259.01 29037.85
24376.77 22299.04
(88.06) (89.08) (92.58) (93.05)
(91.79) (91.39)
B. Fixed Costs.
1. Depreciation 55.83 76.05 223.87 211.39 219.33 157.29
(0.33) (0.42) (0.76) (0.68) (0.82) (0.64)
2. Rental value of land 1750.00 1700.00 1750.00
1750.00 1750.00 1740.00
(10.44) (9.43) (5.94) (5.61) (6.59) (7.13)
3. Land revenue 13.02 13.02 13.02 13.02 13.02 13.02
(0.08) (0.07) (0.04) (0.04) (0.05) (0.05)
4. Interest on fixed cost 181.88 178.91 198.69 197.44 198.23 191.03
(1.08) (0.99) (0.67) (0.63) (0.75) (0.78)
Sub-total 2000.73 967.98 2185.58 2171.85
2180.58 2101.34
(11.94) (10.92) (7.42) (6.95) (8.21) (8.61)
C. Total Cost of Cultivation 16764.94 18025.34 29444.59
31207.70 26557.35 24400.38
(100.00) (100.00) (100.00) (100.00)
(100.00) (100.00)
D. Returns
Yield (q.) 99.04 116.72 211.80 196.62 205.76 165.99
Rate (Rs./q.) 336.67 350.33 458.73 486.67 471.00 420.68
Gross returns 33343.80 40890.58 97159.00 95689.05
96912.96 69828.67
Net returns 16578.86 22365.18 67714.41 64421.35
70355.61 45429.29
Note : Figures in Parentheses indicate percentage to total cost of cultivation
Costs and returns per quintal of Onion production under rainfed and irrigated si
Sl.No. Particulars Belgaum
(Rainfed) Dharwad
(Rainfed) Bijapur (Irrigated) Raichur
(Irrigated) Gulbarga
(Irrigated) Overall
I. Costs
1. Variable Cost 149.07 137.57 128.70 147.68 118.47 134.34
2. Fixed cost 20.20 16.86 10.32 11.05 10.60 12.66
3. Cultivation Cost 169.27 154.43 139.02 158.73 129.07 147.00
4. Marketing Cost 43.55 41.05 56.06 60.81 68.76 55.45
5. Total Cost
(Ra 212.82 195.48 195.08 219.54 197.83 202.45
II. Returns
1. Gross returns 336.67 350.33 458.73 486.67 471.00 420.68
2. Net returns
(i) Over variable cost 187.60 212.76 330.03 338.99 352.53 286.34
(ii) Over cultivation cost 167.40 195.90 319.71 327.94 341.93
(iii) Over total cost 123.85 154.85 263.65 267.13 273.17 218.83
3. Benefit cost ratio 3. 1.58 1.79 2.35 2.22 2.38 2.08
Marketing cost incurred by the producer in Onion
Sl.No. Particulars Belgaum Dharwad Bijapur Raichur Gulbarga
A. Transactions
1. Quantity sold (q) 99.04 116.72 211.80 196.62 205.76 165.99
2. Sale price (Rs.) 336.67 350.33 458.73 486.67 471.00 420.68
3. Sale value (Rs.) 33343.80 40890.52 97159.00
95689.05 96912.96 69828.67
4. Net price (Rs.) 293.12 309.28 402.67 425.86 402.24 366.63
B. Costs
1. Cost of packing 13.08 12.00 14.35 1.99 9.96 9.84
(30.03) (29.23) (25.28) (3.27) (14.28)
2. Loading and Unloading charges 3.00 3.00 2.98 2.00 3.00
(6.89) (7.31) (5.31) (3.29) (4.36) (4.86)
3. Transportration 13.78 13.16 15.71 22.15 21.88 18.18
(31.64) (32.05) (28.03) (36.43)
(31.82) (32.04)
4. Commission charges 6.73 7.00 18.35 29.20 28.26 20.39
(15.46) (17.07) (32.73) (48.02)
(41.10) (35.95)
5. Hamali charges 2.00 2.00 2.00 2.49 2.49 2.26
(4.59) (4.87) (3.55) (4.10) (3.68) (1.32)
6. Weighment charges 0.50 0.50 0.52 1.00 1.00 0.75
(1.15) (1.22) (0.93) (1.64) (1.45) (1.32)
7. Market cess 0.62 0.62 0.50 0.56 0.50 0.53
(1.42) (1.50) (0.89) (0.82) (0.73) (0.93)
8. Miscellaneous expenses 3.91 2.77 1.65 1.42 1.67 2.03
(8.97) (6.74) (2.95) (2.35) (2.42) (3.57)
Total 43.55 41.05 56.06 6.81 68.76 56.72
(100) (100) (100) (100) (100) (100)
Total Cost of Marketing(Rs/Ha) 4313.19 4791.36 11873.51
11956.46 14148.06 9416.52
Note : Figures in parentheses indicate percentages
India exported 11.61 lakh tonnes of onions during 2006-07 which is a record quan
tity after the export was canalized through NAFED. There are many ups and downs
recorded in export quantity and value which is due to fluctuation in production
and prices, and sometimes due to ban imposed on export to safeguard the interest
of consumers in the country. Big onions having, light red to dark red coloured
bulbs are grown in most of the parts. Small onions, known as rose onion, and Kri
shnapuram onions are grown in Kolar district in Karnataka and Cudappah district
in Andhra Pradesh. Multiplier onion, known as Podisu and Shallots, are grown in
Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry and Andhra Pradesh.

Big onions produced in Maharastra, Gujrat, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are exported
from Mumbai, Chennai , Tuticorin, Kandla and Kolkata ports to Dubai , Kuwait, S
audi Arabia, Middle East, Malaysia, Singapore, Seychelles and Bangladesh. Onions
grown in India are very much in demand in Gulf Countries and Singapore, Malaysi
a, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh because of strong pungency.
Small onions produced in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh are exported from Chennai
port to Singapore and Malaysia, and multiplier onions to Singapore, Malaysia,Sri
Lanka etc. Maharashtra has maximum share in onion export.
The NHRDF has developed all the 3 types onions , Agrifound Dark Red and Agrifoun
d Light Red (big onion), Agrifound Rose (small onion) and Agrifound Red (multipl
ier onion) for export. Important characters of these onions are given in Table 1
. The NHRDF have also tested yellow varieties where Arad(H) of Hazera Seed Co. ,
Israel has performed best.
Table: Important characters of onion varieties
Variety Colour Shape Maturity TSS
( % ) Productivity
( q / ha ) Remarks
Agrifound Dark Red Dark red Global round, medium to big 90-100 d
ays from transplanting 12-13 300-400 Medium storer
Agrifound Light Red Light red Global round, medium to big, compact , o
uter scale tight 120 days from transplanting 13-14 300-325
Good storer
Agrifound Rose Scarlet red Flatish round, 2.5-3.5 cm diameter 95-110 d
ays from sowing 16-18 190-200 Good storer
Agrifound Rose Brick red 5-6 bulblets/ clump, bulblet of 2-2.5 cm size
66-67 days from sowing 15-17 180-200 Good storer
Arad (H) Yellow Big-sized global round bulbs of 6-8 cm diameter
90-100 days after transplanting 9-10 500—800 Poor storer
Onion Village
The concept of developing the onion villages may help increase the export of oni
on. The provision of financial assistance to exporters to complete in the intern
ational market may also be looked into. Export on regular basis not only helps i
n getting foreign exchange earnings but also allows farmers to get remunerative
price for their produce thereby encouraging them to sustain the production and a
vailability of onions. Government should in fact have long term export policy an
d should even introduce contract production system in suitable pockets.

Quality standards for export

The quality standards of onion have been fixed by Agmark although now it is not
mandatory to obtain Agmark certificate for onion export. It is necessary to main
tain the quality by observing the standards. The grades , big ,medium, small and
mixed are followed for different types of onions which depend on requirements f
rom importing country. In the survey made by NHRDF , it is observed that Middle
East countries demand light red to dark red colour, European countries and Japan
demand yellowish /brown colour onions having mild pungency, 3-4 cm sized onions
are preferred in Bangladesh, 4-6 cm sized are preferred in Middle East and Far
East, while European and Japan prefer 6-7 cm sized onions. Rose onions of 2.5 -
3.5 cm size and multiplier onions of bigger size with attractive red colour bulb
lets are preferred for export. European countries and Japan prefer yellow big-si
zed onions. The demand in these countries is from February and up to May when it
is very easily possible to cultivate onion in Nasik area of Maharashtra.
The bulbs selected for export should be reasonably uniform in shape , size, colo
ur and pungency. They should be mature ,solid, reasonably firm with tough clingi
ng skin, thoroughly cured and dried outer scales free from dirt and other foreig
n material. Defective, diseased, damaged bulbs caused by seed stem, tops, roots,
moisture, dry sunscald, sun burn, sprouting, mechanical or other injuries and s
taining, free from moulds, soft rot and insect attack should not be used for exp
ort. The trained labourer are thus required for grading and packing of onions fo
r exports. The packing size for export varies from 8 to 25 kg depending on requi
rement of onion by importing country. Although jute mesh bags are used for expor
t, if there is no restriction for their use due to environmental pollution probl
ems in some countries, plastic-wooven bags since are reusable and attractive, sh
ould be introduced.

Scope for increasing export

India is presently exporting onions to mainly Gulf countries, Far East countries
, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka where there is not much scope to increase the quanti
ty as some countries have also started their own production. The scope , however
, exists for diversifying the market to European countries and Japan. These coun
tries do not prefer strong and pungent onions. In these countries, yellow onions
having mild pungency, bigger bulb size with thick fleshy layers are preferred.
The possibility of growing yellow onions in Maharastra, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh a
nd other parts was explored by NHRDF by taking trials on farmers fields where b
ulbs of Arad ( H ) could be successfully produced during late-kharif season. The
evaluation of various exotic varieties has been done in the past and is being t
aken up by NHRDF now also where good bulb development with required size and qua
lity could be produced during late-kharif season and thus export from February t
o May by sending bulbs in electrically-ventilated containers could be explored.
For this, however, contract production is preferred as there may not be much loc
al demand for these onions if not purchased by exporters for export.
Similarly, there is a scope for exporting dehydrated onions as many processing u
nits under export-oriented unit schemes have been installed in India. These are
not presently running to their installed capacity mainly for want of raw materia
l. Thus, there is a scope for development of varieties suitable for dehydration.
Onion Agrifound White developed by NHRDF holds promise in this regard. This var
iety has already been given for evaluation under ICAR coordinated trials.

Effect of export of onions on domestic supplies and price

There is general feeling that prices of onion within the country go up if export
is increased which is not true as the quantity exported is about 10-12% of the
total production. Proper planning for production ,increased export on the other
hand may help growers to get remunerative prices for good quality produce and de
velop the tendency for growing high quality produce by farmers as also encourage
them to maintain the production level of onion which is essential to maintain t
he supplies even for domestic markets demands without much price fluctuation.
The production practices and post-harvest handling if taken by the growers and o
thers involved in the onion industry based on scientific and recommended guideli
nes would maintain the quantity and quality required for domestic and export mar
kets both and thus may not have much effect on internal supplies/prices of onion
. With this view, the expansion of area under kharif in non-traditional pockets
in North and Eastern India and cultivation of early crop by set ( bulbet ) produ
ction are being popularized by NHRDF so that onion supply for domestic demand is
maintained and export of onion is also continued.
Constraints in onion export
There are some constraints seen in onion exports and suggestions to overcome the
se problems so that onion export from India is not only continued but maybe incr
eased :
Suggestions for improvement
• Popularization of improved varieties, quality seed production and distri
bution, expansion of area in non- traditional pockets and contract production fo
r export.
• Planning for contract production for export market expansion of area and
production of kharif onion for early harvesting.
• Unawareness of proper post harvest practices and quality
Training of farmers and others involved in onion production, post-harvest manage
ment and marketing.
• Packing material used is not attractive
Introduction of attractive, eco-friendly packages, consumer packages etc.
• Electrically-ventilated containers for export of yellow onions to Europe
. Adequate transport with reasonable rates, synchronize the rail/road transport
with schedule of vessel and providing insulated wagons.
• Developing more ventilated storage godowns for onions. Providing handlin
g sheds and make available modified containers with proper ventilation
• To develop market intelligence for different seasons, quality of produce
and corresponding season crop in other competing countries.
The strategies suggested to improve the export of onions are :
• Production and distribution of quality seed of improved varieties in ade
quate quantities by following seed village concept.
• Development of disease and insect pests resistant, heat / moisture stres
s tolerant varieties by taking such work at NRC for Onion and Garlic.
• Development of biological control measures against pests and disease by
taking up work with NRC for Onion and Garlic and NHRDF.
• Development of yellow coloured hybrid and OPs for export to European and
Japanese markets by popularizing the technology for production during late-khar
if based on work undertaken by NHRDF and adopting contract production.
• Development of bigger bulblet varieties in multiplier onion.
• Training of farmers, traders and exporters involved in onion production,
handling and marketing.
• Creation of adequate curing and storage facilities at field level and at
• Popularizing various onion products in export markets developing varieti
es suitable for various processed products.
Head Office : Plot No. R-7, Chhatrapati Shivaji Market Yard, Gultekadi, Pune -
Telephone : 91-20-4261190, 4268297,Fax: 91-20-4272095/20-24275154, Web Site :
Government of India through its notification, No.41(RE/99)/1997-2002, Ne
w Delhi, dated 12th February, 1999, has amended the Exim Policy for 2004-2009 an
d authorised the Government of Maharashtra to designate an agency for canalised
export of onions from the State. In turn, the Government of Maharashtra has desi
gnated Maharashtra State Agricultural Marketing Board (hereinafter referred to i
n short as MSAMB) as the Designated Agency for canalisation of Onion exports fro
m the State through its Notification No.CMS 1099/CR 42/99/24-C Dated 17th Februa
ry, 1999.
The main objectives before MSAMB as the exclusive canalising agency for
the State of Maharashtra are to maximise foreign exchange earnings for the count
ry through streamlined system of export so that Maharashtra s image as a dependa
ble export of onion is well established in the world market, as well as helping
onion farmers in getting fair return for their produce particularly during marke
ting season and to help in maintaining domestic availability of onions at reason
able prices to the consumers.
Any person/Company desires to participate in export of onions is require
d to register themselves with authorised office of MSAMB. This will be only one
time requirement. The registration of Associate Shippers may be reviewed on the
basis of their onion performance from time to time.
Application for registration with MSAMB is required to be submitted in p
rescribed proforma given at Annexure-I on the letter head of the person/Propriet
orship /Partnership Firm / Company/Cooperative Societies accompanied by Bank Dra
ft for Rs. 5,000/- (Rupees Five Thousand Only) drawn in favor of MSAMB payable a
t Pune. The amount of Rs. 5000/- is non-refundable. On scrutiny of the applicati
on, registration number will be allotted to the Associate Shipper, which should
be quoted in all future correspondence.
Application for registration with MSAMB should be complete with following docume
nts, which is minimum necessary.
• Application for registration by person/company/cooperative society on le
tterhead duly signed and stamped by authorised person. (Annexure –I)
• Import Export Code (IEC) True copy.
• Permanent Account Number allotted by Income Tax Authority.
• Indemnity Bond duly notarized (Annexure – II),
• Signature attestion by Bankers
• Sealed envelope contains Confidential Report about person/company/cooper
ative societies account operation with bankers and addressed to MSAMB, Pune.
• Demand Draft favoring ‘MSAMB, Pune’ amounting to Rs.5,000/-.
• Copy of ‘’Memorandum & Articles of Association’’ in case of Limited Comp
any & copy of ‘’Partnership Deed “ in case of partnership firm.
The export of onion will be subject to MEP as fixed by NAFED & DGFT from
time to time which will be intimated by MSAMB Offices immediately to registered
Associate Shippers. The crop prospects, its assessments and crop forecasts, mar
ket intelligence and likely trends within the country and abroad, expenses invol
ved in export, latest freight rates etc., are taken in account while fixing of M
The exporter shall apply for NO OBJECTION CERTIFICATE (NOC) as per profo
rma at Annexure-II to MSAMB for each export consignment. The exporter will furni
sh to MSAMB the details such as quantity to be exported, export rate, port of sh
ipment, shipment period & destination and details of Letter of Credit. The expor
ter is also required to submit proforma invoice and copy of advance remittance o
r irrecoverable Letter of Credit alongwith application for NOC.
While granting the NOC, the MSAMB will be entitled to collect service ch
arges from the Associate Shipper at the fixed rate of 1 % on invoice value.
If shipment is not effected owing to reasons beyond control of Associate
Shippers such as ban / restrictions imposed by Government of India on export, o
bstruction in movement of cargo from up country to port / dock, shut-out cargo,
cancellation of vessel, cancellation of order by the buyer, transport and labor
strike or any other valid reason, service charges collected will be refunded or
adjusted for the unshipped quantity, in future shipment subjects to providing su
fficient documentary evidence by the Associate Shipper.
Refund / adjustment of service charges will be made for the cases not le
ss than a quantity of 10 MTs at a time. On rejection of this request, Associate
Shipper can appeal to Managing Director, MSAMB, if felt necessary, who will take
a view on such cases and his decision will be binding on all concerned.
The associate Shippers are also to pay the fund known as "Research & Dev
elopment Fund" @ Rs.20/- per metric ton while applying for the quota. This fund
will be utilised for the purpose of Research and Development of production, qual
ity, storage, handling etc., of export oriented agricultural commodities, partic
ularly onion by National Horticultural Research and Development Foundation (NHRD
F), Nashik.
In case the shipping documents are passed on or before the last date of
validity of the MEP but shipment could not be made due to late arrival, berthing
and cancellation of the vessel, a grace period of 7 days for execution of the s
uch shipment on the previous month MEP will be permitted.
The registered Associate Shipper will get the proper Letter of Credit es
tablished in their favor by observing the following before effecting any shipmen
t :-
I) The export of onion will be made against cent percent Letter of Credit (
L/C) payable at first sight in India or against advance remittance received thro
ugh authorised banking channel.
ii) The L/C should be irrevocable, without recourse to drawers and unrestric
ted for negotiation.
iii) The L/C should provide:
a) Acceptance of State/Claused B/L.
b) Permitting of part shipment, and on deck shipment.
c) Transshipment prohibited.
iv) The L/C should incorporate Reimbursement Clause permitting reimbursement
of the full bill amount through T.T. on first presentation of the documents at
the counters of negotiating Bank in India.
9.1 The execution of shipment against L/C will be the sole responsib
ility of the Associate Shipper. In case any dispute arising between the exporter
and importer about the quality, packing, period of shipment, non-shipment or an
y other reason, the same will be settled between them mutually.
9.2 The Associate Shipper will furnish within 7 days from the date o
f shipment the details of shipment for which the NOC obtained alongwith a set of
non-negotiable documents to MSAMB Office.
10. Associate Shippers shall be entitled to all export benefits accruing fro
m their export of onion.
11. Export of onion to the countries where the respective Governments regula
te imports will be undertaken exclusively by MSAMB.
12. The associate shippers shall comply and continue to comply with the prov
isions of other laws applicable to Associate Shippers or any other person on who
se behalf the application for registration as Associate Shipper is submitted to
MSAMB. The registration of contracts does not also confer any immunity, exemptio
n or relaxation at any time from obligation or compliance of any requirement to
which the Associate Shippers are bound or required to fulfill under various laws
/regulations of the country.
13. These guidelines have been issued in supersession to all earlier guideli
nes, instructions or administrative orders on the subject by any other equivalen
t authorities/agencies.
14. MSAMB reserves right to change the above guidelines as and when the need
arises and also reserve rights for interpretation of these guidelines.
Always in your service,
Authorised Officer,
MSAMB, Pune.

The Authorised Officer,
Canalized Onion Export Promotion Cell,
Maharashtra State Agricultural Marketing Board, Pune.
Dear Sir,
Sub : Registration of our Company / Firm for Export of Onion under canalizatio
n scheme as Associate Shipper of MSAMB.
The Govt. of India has canalized the export of Onion from the state of M
aharashtra through your Board, the designated canalizing agency of the Govt. of
Maharashtra. We request you to kindly register us as your Associate shipper for
the said exports. The particulars about our firm / company is as under for you
r information and consideration :-
1. Name of firm / company and date of establishment
2. Status of the applicant (Public/ Partnership/ Proprietor-ship /C
ooperative/ HUF) (copy of Memo-random of Articles Partnership deed is enclosed)
(Name of the partners/Directors /Managing Directors/ Proprietor is furnished wit
h their permanent address):
3. Address of Registered Office and Branches alongwith Tel/Telex/Fa
x No.
4. Name and designation with specimen signature of authorised repre
sentative(s) (to be got attested from the Bank authorities)
5. Name and Address of Bankers (Attach Banker s certificate, certi
fying financial position).
6. Import/Export code number (Copy enclosed)
7. Particulars of registration with any export promotion Councils,
if any
8. Commoditywise Statement of exports for the last two years.
9. Permanent Income Tax A/c number indicating the issuing authority
10. Whether the Organisation is Export House, Trading House etc. (Pl
ease attach certificate)
11. Last 3 years export performance for onion - Quantitywise & Price
We attach herewith a Demand Draft of Rs. 5,000/- in favor of MSAMB, Pune payable
at Pune. We also attach herewith Indemnity Bond as required by you as per Anne
xure -II;
We have carefully read the guidelines issued by MSAMB for the purpose and we her
eby solemnly undertake unconditionally to abide by all the terms and conditions,
laid down by MSAMB and also to comply with any addition/alteration to be made t
herein from time to time and also provisions of any laws / rules regulations aff
ecting the canalization of export of onion. We shall be bound by clause regardin
g the settlement of dispute through arbitration.
We further understand that our registration is liable to be cancelled in the eve
nt of breach of any of the undertakings mentioned above. We do hereby certify th
at all information furnished above and documents submitted herewith are true and
Thanking you,
Yours fa

rised Signature)
Office seal
(Duly attested by Notary Public)
1. I (Name of authorised signatory) ___________________ on behalf of my / o
ur firm________________________ having our registered Office at _______________
hereinafter referred to as the OBLIGOR which expression shall include our heir
s, successors and assigns, furnish this indemnity Bond in favor of Maharashtra S
tate Agricultural Marketing Board, Pune - 37 hereinafter referred to as MSAMB
2. Whereas the Government of India has canalized the Export of Onions from
the country to all-permissible destinations vide Import / Export Policy declared
for the period 2002-2007.
3. And whereas, the obligor has to enter into a Contract / Agreement with v
arious buyers of permissible destinations hereinafter referred to as the BUYER f
or the export of the Indian onion to permissible destinations and whereas in con
sideration of said, MSAMB having agreed to allow us to effect the shipment of ou
r contracted order(s) under canalized scheme, we hereby undertake and bind ourse
lves for the total and faithful performance of the terms and conditions of the c
ontract entered into by & between the buyer and ourselves.
4. Notwithstanding any breach in the performance of the contractual obligat
ions and discrepancy(ies) in the draft/documents and the terms of contracts whic
h may be discovered/objected by the buyer and or any other port authority, the O
bligor hereby solemnly and unconditionally agrees to bind itself/himself for all
the repercussions and consequences, arising out of its /his executing this tran
saction and also hereby further undertakes to reimburse to the said MSAMB upon d
emand, for the aggregate amount of claims, including costs, legal or otherwise w
hich the MSAMB may be called upon and/or compelled to and/or bound to pay for an
d/or on behalf of the obligor/on account of the obligor in connection with the a
bove said shipments, including any guarantee, and/or indemnities given / require
d to be given, together with interest at rate determined by MSAMB plus all other
expenses of whatsoever nature incurred by MSAMB inconnection with any claim and
/or claims/penalties, relating to its buyer and/or ship agents or any other pers
ons connected with the said shipment and the same shall be accepted by the Oblig
or, without equivocation, dispute and/or delay, as correct and just.
5. The Obligor hereby waives all its/his rights to contest the amount or an
y of claims paid under such guarantee and/or Indemnity (ies) should there be any
valid reason, then the Obligor should settle the outstanding with buyer within
one month or earlier under advice to MSAMB. The OBLIGOR shall inform the said M
SAMB about shipment of the order mentioned hereinabove and shall also furnish to
them a copy of the non-negotiable set of shipping documents for their informati
on and records as soon as the shipment has been effected to the satisfaction of
all concerned including surveyors if appointed either by MSAMB or by the buyers.

6. The Obligor hereby further does indemnify MSAMB unconditionally absolvin

g it from risks, damages, costs and or any other claims/penalties, etc., of the
Reserve Bank of India Jt. Chief Controller of Imports and Exports, Customs Depar
tment, the buyers and ship agents and/or any other concerned party(ies)/authorit
y(ies) either in India or abroad arising due to non-fulfillment of the contractu
al obligations and / or any sort of complication whether pecuniary or otherwise
and/or on account of non-realisation of the export proceeds into Indian Currency
in an approved manner and it is understood and accepted by the Obligor that the
said MSAMB does not entail any responsibility whatsoever in regard to the shipm
ent of the said contracted order(s) under the canalization scheme referred to he
rein above.
7. That the Obligor affirms that the present Indemnity Bond shall remain va
lid and subsisting even after the execution of the shipment by the Obligor and M
SAMB s entitled to seek its enforcement at any time in case of any of the eventu
alities enumerated herein above.
(Authorized Signatory)
Name of the Authorised Signatory
Name of the firm in Block Letters
Address in Full
Office Seal
Signed, sealed and delivered by within named Obligor on this day of the ________
________ of 200 _____ in the presence of
Witness No.1 Signature ______________________________
Name in full ___________________________
Address in full ________________________
Witness No.2 Signature ______________________________
Name in full ___________________________
Address in full ________________________

The Authorised Officer,
Canalised Onion Export Promotion Cell,
Maharashtra State Agricultural Marketing Board, Mumbai / Pune.
Dear Sir,
Re : Export of Fresh Onion Variety ________________
Ref : Our Registration No. _______________________
We request you to please issue No Objection Certificate addressed to Cus
toms ______________________ (name of the port ) for export order of onion secure
d by us, details of which are given below:
a) Quantity MT
b) Price per MT in FOB/C&F/CIF
i Fright in US $
ii Insurance in IRS (Converted on average custom’s exchange rate) U
S $
iii FOB value in US $
iv Total C & F / CIF value in US $
c) Shipment period
d) Packing
e) Mode of payment
Advance remittance(FIRC)/L/C No Date amount
f) Validity of L/C for shipment and negotiation
g) Port of shipment
h) Port of destination
As desired we send herewith a proforma invoice & copy of Advance remittance cert
ificate / LC from the authorised bank for above shipment:
a. Bank Draft No. ________________ Date ___________ For Rs. _______________
Drawn on in your favor being service charges, development fund and secur
ity deposit is enclosed.
We also undertake that Consignment shall be shipped to the destination mentioned
above and no high sea sales or diversion of this cargo shall be made by ourselv
es or by our buyers without prior approval from MSAMB.
Yours faithfully,
(Authorised person with seal)
Encl : As above


(BANGKOK, 3-5 APRIL, 2001)

Export Potential of Onion: A Case Study of India

By V. C. Mathur
Senior Scientist
Division of Agricultural Economics
Indian Agricultural Research Institute
Agriculture occupies an important position in India as it contributes ne
arly 30 per cent of the gross domestic product and provides employment to around
two-thirds of the nation’s population. A large variety of tropical, sub-tropica
l and temperate crops are cultivated in the country supported by a climatically
conducive growing environment, highly skilled manpower, extensive irrigation sys
tem, a well-developed extension and research and development network, and a larg
e market for agro- products. The total net sown area in the country is around 14
3 million hectares, which is around 43 per cent of the geographical area. The ne
t irrigated area is around 55 million hectares or 39 per cent of the net sown ar
ea. However, one important emerging feature of Indian agriculture is the increas
ing number of marginal (less than 1 ha) and small size holdings (1.0 to 2.0 ha).
Between 1985-86 and 1990-91, the number of marginal holdings increased from 56.
147 million to 63.389 million, while the small size holdings went up from 17.922
million to 20.092 million. Even the number of semi-medium size holdings increas
ed during the same period from 13.252 million to 13.923 million. According to th
e 1990-91 Agricultural Census, 91.3 per cent of the total holdings in the countr
y comprise marginal, small and semi-medium holdings which together account for 5
5.6 per cent of the operated area. This decreasing size of operated area often d
iminishes the efficiency of production and the bargaining power of the individua
l farmers in the market.
Agricultural commodity exports account for nearly 20 per cent of the total expor
t earnings of the country. Coffee, tea and mate, oil cakes, tobacco, cashew kern
els, spices, raw cotton, rice, fish and fish preparations, meat and meat prepara
tions, fresh fruits and vegetables, and processed fruits and vegetables constitu
te the major export items among agro-products from the country. Among the hortic
ultural commodities, processed fruits and vegetables accounted for the largest s
hare of exports followed by fresh fruits and vegetables. Among fresh vegetables,
onion, tomato and mushroom are reported to be highly export competitive (Kumar,
1996; Paroda, 1999).
Onion is one of the important vegetable crops grown in India. In terms o
f area, India ranks first in the world with over 480 thousand hectares accountin
g for around 21 per cent of the world area planted to onion. Globally, the count
ry occupies the second position after China in onion production with a productio
n share of around 14 per cent. Productivity, however, is low at around 11.4 mt/h
a, which is lower than the world average of 17.3 mt/ha. Besides India and China,
the other major onion producing countries are Turkey, Pakistan, Brazil, United
States of America, Iran, Spain and Japan. In India, onion is extensively cultiva
ted over a large area spread almost throughout the country. It is produced for b
oth domestic consumption as well as exports.

Domestic Production
Onion is a crop of national importance and considerable attention has be
en paid by the National Agricultural Research System of the country to the impro
vement of this crop. The National Horticultural Research Development Foundation,
sponsored by the apex level cooperative called the National Agricultural Cooper
ative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED), and the National Research Center on
Onion and Garlic of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) are enga
ged in systematic efforts for the improvement of onion. Besides these two organi
zations, several other crop research institutes of the ICAR and state agricultur
al universities are also involved in research on onion. In 1995, a National netw
ork scheme was initiated at 15 centers by the ICAR Research Network for the prom
otion of hybrid research in vegetable crops to develop F1 hybrids for 9 importan
t vegetables among which onion is also one of the important crops (Singh and Pal
, 1996). India produces all three varieties of onion – red, yellow and white. Th
e different institutes engaged in research on onion have developed 34 varieties
of the common and multiplier onion. Besides these some local varieties, especial
ly Nasik Red, Patna Red, Bombay Red, Poona Red, and Bahadurgarh Local, are also
grown by the farmers.
A large variety of vegetables are grown in India. In the agricultural ye
ar 1998-99, onion accounted for around 8 per cent of the area and 3 per cent of
the production of vegetables in the country (Table 1). Although onion is cultiva
ted almost all over the country, the major onion growing states are Andhra Prade
sh, Bihar, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Tamil Nadu a
nd Uttar Pradesh. These nine states together account for over 90 per cent of bot
h the area and production of onion in the country (Table 2). In the northern par
t of the country, onion is usually grown in winter (rabi) season. However, in th
e southern and western States of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat
and Maharashtra, it is grown in winter (rabi) as well as in the rainy (kharif) s
easons. A red onion variety, N 53, has been successfully developed for the north
ern Indian plains and the National Horticultural Research Development Foundation
has taken up this technology on a large scale at farmers’ fields in Harlan, Pun
jab, eastern Uttar Prudish, Bizarre and Rajasthan. Thus onion is cultivated and
is available to domestic consumers, as well as for the exports, throughout the y
Onion Exports
India is a traditional exporter of fresh onion. Immediately after indepe
ndence in 1951-52 the country was exporting over 5000 tonnes of onion per annum.
Exports of onion started expanding rapidly during the sixties and reached a pea
k level of 427 thousand tonnes in 1996-97. Over the years there has been a progr
essive increase in the exports of onion from India. Table 3, however shows that
although there has been an increasing trend in the quantum and value of exports
of onion from the country, there also are apparent wide fluctuations in both fro
m year to year. This may be attributed to the fact that the exports of onion hav
e not been free but are canalized through NAFED and now also some other agencies
. One over-riding concern of the canalizing agencies has been the protection of
the domestic consumer and producer from unduly high prices and gluts. Exports ha
ve been allowed only after domestic requirements have been met which may be a ca
use of the fluctuations in exports from year to year. Exports of onion have fetc
hed for the country valuable foreign exchange and have earned for the producers
a high price per tonne. In terms of dollars, the decline in the unit value after
1990 may be attributed to the devaluation of the rupee. The profitability and t
he potential offered by the exports of onion are evident from the fact that, on
a national basis, the are under onion is steadily increasing, having almost doub
led between 1980-81 and 1998-99 (Table 4). The increase in area has been particu
larly significant after the initiation of the economic and trade policy reforms
beginning in 1990 –1991 which have helped to liberalize trade in agricultural co
The export market mix for onions changes from year to year, but India’s
onion exports cater mainly to the neighboring South East Asian countries and som
e Middle East nations. Malaysia, UAE, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Singapore and Saudi
Arabia account for the major share of exports from India (Table 5). In 1997-98,
India exported onions to 36 countries.

The Marketing System: Institutional Support for Marketing and Trade

Exports of onions from India are not free but are permitted only through
certain designated canalizing agencies. Foremost among these agencies is the Na
tional Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India, Limited (NAFED),
which was from 1974-75 till January 1999, the sole canalizing agency for onion e
xports. NAFED, located in New Delhi, was set up in October 1958 to provide marke
t support to agricultural producers. This market support to producers is provide
d by NAFED through various state level marketing federations, primary agricultur
al marketing societies and the National Cooperative Development Corporation. In
order to provide marketing support to producers and ensure a better price to the
m, and also to maintain the availability of the commodities in the domestic mark
et at reasonable prices, NAFED undertakes internal trade in agricultural commodi
ties especially food grains, pulses, oilseeds, cotton, jute, spices, fruits, veg
etables and eggs. NAFED also engages in external trade and a variety of agricult
ural commodities are exported by NAFED. In fact the exports of agricultural comm
odities through the cooperative system in India developed only after NAFED came
into existence. As a part of its external trade activities, NAFED also undertake
s imports of agricultural commodities as and when requested by the government.
Price support programs
Since NAFED is responsible for providing marketing support to producers and ensu
re that they receive a remunerative price for their product, it also undertakes
support price purchases of various commodities for the government. It is the key
agency for implementing the price support policy program in respect of oilseeds
and coarse grains. For onion, NAFED intervenes in the domestic marketing whenev
er there is glut in the market and prices reach uneconomical levels. Prices prev
ailing in major markets all over the country are reviewed every day in this proc
ess. Procurement prices of onion are decided by NAFED on the basis of cost of pr
oduction and procurement is initiated in the markets and from the farmers direct
ly. This benefits the producers, particularly the small producers, who have low
carrying capacity and are constrained to sell immediately after harvest on accou
nt of financial constraints.
In case of external trade, NAFED is responsible for fixing the minimum export pr
ice (MEP) of onions, which is done on a monthly basis. The Price Fixation Commit
tee of NAFED decides this price. Factors such as market trends, world prices and
domestic prices, and margins are considered for arriving at the MEP of onion.
Technological and extension support
A National Horticultural Research Development Foundation has been set up
by NAFED to undertake research on development of varieties of onion suitable fo
r cultivation in different agro-climatic regions of the country as well as the d
evelopment of suitable production practices. NAFED has also set up units for the
production of bio-fertilizers and rhizobium culture. Besides NAFED, other publi
c research agencies are also involved in technology development and upgradation
for onion.
The technologies and package of practices developed are passed on to the produce
rs through an extensive system of extension. Seed, and, at times, other critical
inputs are provided to farmers by NAFED. Plant protection operations have also
been undertaken to provide protection against pest and disease infestations. Tec
hnical know how is extended to farmers to improve production and productivity. S
eed production is undertaken by the NAFED sponsored National Horticultural Resea
rch Development Foundation and seed is sold by NAFED under its own name.
External trade support
From 1974-75 to January 1999, the NAFED was the sole canalizing agency f
or external trade and exports of onions from India. In January 1999, the new exp
ort - import policy of the Government of India introduced certain changes in the
system of onion trade by including some other agencies as additional canalizing
agencies for onion trade. These were the Maharashtra Agricultural Marketing Boa
rd and the Gujarat Agro Industries Corporation. In December 1999, the list was e
xtended with the inclusion of Karnataka State Cooperative Marketing Federation,
Andhra Pradesh Marketing Federation, Spices Trading Corporation, Limited, Nation
al Consumers Cooperative Federation, and Andhra Pradesh State Trading Corporatio
n as canalizing agencies for onion exports. The reasons for allowing other agenc
ies to enter into the canalized exports of onion is that the Government does not
want any agency to acquire a monopoly position in this respect and also to faci
litate the easy procurement, distribution and exports of the commodity from the
widely distributed producing centers of the country. However, NAFED continues to
be a monitoring agency.
Each canalizing agency is allocated a quota for exports. An inter-ministerial gr
oup comprising representatives of the Ministries of Commerce, Consumer Affairs,
and Agriculture and NAFED decide the quotas for exports to be allocated to each
canalizing agency. These quotas are decided for varying periods of say 15 days t
o a month and generally not for a long period.
The share of NAFED in the total quantity exported is around 50 per cent, with th
e remaining being shared by the other co-canalizing agencies. Having been respon
sible for exports of onions since its inception, NAFED has been able to establis
h markets for Indian onion abroad, which is evident from the increasing volume o
f onion exports.
NAFED has set up modern state-of-the-art storage facilities in Maharashtra, Guja
rat and Tamil Nadu near its major procurement centers. Onions require storage fa
cilities that require sufficient inflow of fresh air. Consignments are packed in
hessian bags which allow air to pas through. Export consignments meant for long
distance are transported by NAFED’s associated shippers in specially equipped s
ea vessels in which air is blown in storage areas through fans and blowers.
India grows three types of onions – red, white and yellow. The bulk of t
he country’s exports are of the red variety. Generally only ‘A’ grade onions are
exported. Grading is done manually on the basis of bulb size by trained people
deployed by NAFED who are well versed with the requirements of different export
markets. Occasionally ‘B’ grade onions are also exported but the market for such
onion is only Dubai. Tastes and preferences of consumers vary and the Bangalore
rose variety, a small variety of onion, is preferred in and exported to Singapo
re and Malaysia.
Marketing channels
In the case of private trade in onions for domestic consumption, produce
rs sell onions to commission agents in assembling regulated markets which are no
w in operation extensively throughout the country. The commission agents sell th
e onion to sub-wholesalers or directly to retailers, who in turn, sell to the co
A second channel is the cooperative channel in which producers market their onio
n through cooperative marketing societies at the village level. NAFED and the ot
her canalizing agencies procure their requirements from cooperative societies an
d rarely buy from commission agents or wholesalers in markets. This benefits the
small producers as they collectively receive a better price for their product.

Conclusions and Recommendations

The exports of onions from India have been a success story. The country
has been able to export large quantities of onions after ensuring that the domes
tic requirements are met. The canalizing agencies, especially NAFED, have been a
ble to establish markets for Indian onions abroad as they take good care to main
tain the quality of the produce for the export market. For this purpose, storage
and grading facilities have been created. Large scale facilities created for pa
ckaging of onions by the exporting agencies help in the quick handling of export
consignments. However, while markets have been established for Indian onions ab
road (India exported onions to 36 markets in 1997-98), exports are concentrated
to neighboring countries in South and South East Asia and the Middle East. In or
der to improve unit value realization, it is necessary to tap the potential of m
arkets in the European Union and other developed countries. These countries impo
rt large quantities of onion and it is important that India should quickly try t
o penetrate these markets. This will require the production of onions possessing
the traits desired by consumers in these potential markets but the Indian resea
rch system is well equipped to develop such varieties.
Kumar, Praduman. 1996. Market Prospects for Upland Crops in India. CGPRT Centre,
Working Paper Series No. 20
Paroda, R. S. 1999. Towards Sustainable Agricultural Exports – New Paradigms.
Presidential Address, Fourth Agricultural Science Congress, Jaipur, India.
Singh, Narendra and Netra Pal. 1996. Bulb and Root Vegetables. In Fifty Years of
Science Research in India, R. S. Paroda and K. L. Chadha (eds.), Indian Council
of Agricultural Research, New Delhi.

Table 1: Area and production of vegetables in India

Year Area (‘000 ha) Production (‘000 mt)
Onion Vegetables Onion Vegetables
1991-92 331.8 5593 4705.8 58532
1992-93 380.2 5045 5704.7 63806
1993-94 367.5 4876 4006.4 65787
1994-95 378.6 5013 4036.1 67286
1995-96 395.5 5335 4080.0 71594
1996-97 410.0 5515 4180.0 75074
1997-98 340.0 5607 3140.0 72683
1998-99 480.6 5866 5466.7 87536
Source: Indian Horticulture Database Millenium 2000, National Horticulture Board
, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, Gurgaon, India. 2000.

Table 2: State-wise area and production of onion in India (TE 1998-99)

State Area (‘000 ha) Production (‘000 mt)
Andhra Pradesh 27.03 392.67
Bihar 19.87 159.67
Gujarat 30.73 837.37
Karnataka 84.80 486.13
Madhya Pradesh 21.30 295.53
Maharashtra 87.97 981.20
Orissa 45.27 270.00
Tamil Nadu 29.07 246.57
Uttar Pradesh 28.67 319.37
Others 35.50 273.73
India 683.53 6702.23
Source: Indian Horticulture Database Millenium 2000, National Horticulture
Board, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, Gurgaon, India. 2000.

Table 3: Onion exports from India

Year Quantity (tones) Value
(000 rupees) Unit Value
Rs./tonne Unit Value
Dollars /tonne
1980 193700 277600 1433 181
1981 169800 294300 1733 193
1982 181300 311700 1719 178
1983 181500 354200 1952 189
1984 251100 543000 2162 182
1985 157500 292100 1855 152
1986 265900 584600 2199 172
1987 141000 421300 2988 230
1988 214200 641700 2996 207
1989 214200 641700 2996 207
1990 240200 908800 3784 211
1991 370900 1495900 4033 165
1992 271900 1193600 4390 143
1993 357100 1826700 5115 163
1994 401000 2050000 5112 163
1995 351000 2310000 6581 197
1996 427000 2650000 6206 175
1997 333000 2020000 6066 163
1998 216000 1760000 8148 194

Table 4: Area planted to onion in India (million hectares)

Year Area
1980-81 0.25
1985-86 0.28
1990-91 0.30
1995-96 0.40
1998-99 0.48

Table 5: Major importers of fresh onions from India – 1997-98

Country Quantity (tonnes) Value (‘000 Rs.)
Malaysia 78376 509586
UAE 85532 466339
Singapore 32441 302055
Sri Lanka 57208 288731
Bangladesh 50035 259739
Saudi Arabia 13114 92264
Mauritius 5096 29257
Kuwait 5067 26980
Bahrain 1633 12873
Maldives 807 4365
Others 3691 32421
Total number of markets: 36
Source: Export Statistics for Agro and Food Products, India, 1997-98. Agricultur
al and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), 1999.