National Agriculture and Marketing Federation (NAFED) will import onions from the two countries in a bid to avert an onion shortfall in Delhi as the city gears up for the festive season.
Delay in onion sowing for the kharif season due to the absence of rainfall in most of the grower states such as Karnataka, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra has hit domestic stocks of the vegetable.
According to Delhi government officials, the imports are being made with a view to maintaining the supply of onions in the national capital and also to curb any rise in its prices given that the requirement for the item is bound to go up during Dussehra, Diwali and Eid-ul-Zuha.
"As per directions of the government of India, NAFED has decided to import of 50,000 metric tonnes of onions from Pakistan and Afghanistan. This supply will be delivered at the nearest port or location as desired by the state. If the orders are placed without delay, (stocks) will arrive by October-end or November," NAFED's Managing Director said in a letter to Delhi government.
"As informed earlier vide our letter dated July 22, due to late sowing of Kharif onions owing to delayed monsoon in some states, arrival of onions which normally begins in the second fortnight of September may get delayed by a month or so and fresh market arrivals are expected from late October/November onwards," the MD said.
Onions in Delhi are are being sold between Rs 16-Rs 25 per kg. The daily sale of onions in the city is around 1,000 quintals.