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Ensuring Affordable Onions for All: Government’s Measures for Farmers and Consumers

In a bid to maintain a steady supply of onions at affordable prices for domestic consumers, the government has taken decisive steps to address the declining stocks of rabi 2023 onions. With the introduction of a Minimum Export Price (MEP) set at USD 800 per Metric Ton, the authorities aim to balance the needs of both farmers and consumers. As the stored rabi 2023 onion stock dwindles, the government has intervened to stabilize the market and prevent a surge in onion prices. The MEP, equivalent to around Rs. 67/kg, underscores the government’s commitment to balancing the needs of farmers and consumers.


On the 29th of October, 2023, the government imposed a Minimum Export Price (MEP) of USD 800 per Metric Ton, FOB basis, on onion exports. This move is effective until the 31st of December, 2023, and it serves a dual purpose – ensuring an adequate supply of onions within the country and curbing excessive exports. The MEP, equivalent to approximately Rs. 67 per kilogram, signifies the government’s commitment to keep this kitchen staple affordable for every Indian household.

Additionally, to further stabilize the onion market, the government has declared the procurement of an additional 2 lakh tons of onions for the buffer, supplementing the 5 lakh tons already acquired. The buffer stock has been consistently released since the second week of August in major consumption centers nationwide, and it’s being offered to retail consumers at the economical rate of Rs. 25 per kilogram. As of now, approximately 1.70 lakh Metric Tons of onions have been dispensed from the buffer. This continual procurement and distribution are aimed at moderating prices for consumers while ensuring fair returns for onion farmers.

Key Points

  1. MEP for Onion Exports: The imposition of a Minimum Export Price (MEP) at USD 800 per Metric Ton until the end of December 2023. This is a crucial step to restrict excessive exports and maintain an adequate supply of onions in the domestic market.
  2. Stabilizing Domestic Prices: By curbing onion exports, the government aims to prevent fluctuations in onion prices, ensuring that consumers can access onions at affordable rates, approximately Rs. 67/kg.
  3. Buffer Stock Expansion: The government is proactively bolstering its buffer stock by procuring an additional 2 lakh tons of onions. This is in addition to the existing 5 lakh tons already in storage, guaranteeing a steady supply of onions to consumers.
  4. Buffer Stock Disposal: The buffer stock, which contains a significant quantity of onions, is systematically released to major consumption centers across the nation. This stock is then made available to retail consumers at an economical price of Rs. 25/kg.
  5. Procurement and Disposal: The continuous procurement and disposal of onions from the buffer serve a dual purpose. It helps maintain reasonable prices for consumers while ensuring that onion farmers receive fair and remunerative prices for their produce.
  6. Government Commitment: These measures highlight the government’s steadfast commitment to ensuring that onions remain affordable to domestic consumers. The government recognizes the importance of onions in the Indian diet and the significance of a balanced approach to both producers and consumers.
  7. Timely Intervention: The announcement comes at a crucial juncture as the quantity of stored rabi 2023 onions is declining. The government’s intervention is vital to avoid a situation where rising onion prices burden consumers and undermine the livelihoods of farmers.
  8. Extended Period: The MEP and buffer stock strategy will be in effect until the end of December 2023, ensuring that the onion market remains stable and accessible to all during this critical period.
  9. Fair Deal for Farmers: These measures not only protect consumers but also safeguard the interests of onion farmers. By ensuring fair prices and reducing market volatility, the government empowers farmers to continue their vital role in providing a staple food item for the nation.


The recent government actions regarding onions underscore a commitment to balancing the interests of farmers and consumers. By setting an MEP, expanding the buffer stock, and facilitating the consistent procurement and distribution of onions, the government is providing a safety net for all stakeholders in the onion market. The focus is on ensuring affordable onions for consumers, fair remuneration for farmers, and market stability during a critical period. These measures are not just about onions; they represent a comprehensive approach to securing the food security and economic well-being of the nation.

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