The Indian government is considering a temporary ban on onion exports, as limited availability causes rising prices throughout the country, the Hindu Business Line reports.
Officials are reported to be meeting shortly to discuss the possibility.
“The committee of Joint Secretaries will examine all factors, including the movement of domestic prices, the reason for rising prices, existing international prices and the onion stock in the country before taking a view on the matter,” a government official stated.
Sharad Power, India’s agriculture minister, has come out in opposition to the ban, stating it was unfair to ban exports as it damaged the country’s reputation as a reliable supplier.
Power added that the phenomenon was only temporary and expected to improve in another three weeks after crops in states including Maharshtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan came into production.
Typically, around 10 per cent of India’s onion production is exported.
Onion prices have nearly doubled in retail markets due to heavy monsoon rains damaging crops and disrupting supplies.
Weather wreaking havoc on fresh produce prices is a frequent phenomenon in India during monsoon season. The cost of other commonly consumed vegetables, such as tomato and potato, have also registered a significant rise.
Escalating vegetable prices has exacerbated food inflation, which rose to 9.74 per cent in June from 8.25 per cent in May.