Total exports reached 1.21m tonnes last month, and that figure is expected to rise to 1.5m tonnes by March, reported The Economic Times.
That number blows the previous record out of the water, set in 2006/07 at 1.16m tonnes.
The boom in exports is in part due to increased production from the major export-bound onion producing state of Maharashtra, which accounts for 80 per cent of the country’s export production.
Maharashtra is on target for a 10 per cent rise in production over the previous season, which came to 2.42m tonnes, mainly due to increased technology application and better post-harvest storage infrastructure, according to The Economic Times.
The National Horticulture Research and Development Foundation played a hand in those storage developments, and additional director Dr SR Bhonde said they have helped iron out onion price fluctuations on the domestic market.
“The increased capacity has not only helped rise exports but helped keep domestic prices in check,” Dr Bhonde said.
“Usually, the major onion crop comes into the market in November. But this year, the rains were late and the new crop did not arrive in markets till December. This could have resulted in a sharp rise in the prices of onions but supply from stored onions had kept prices in check.”
The Maharashtra State Agricultural Marketing Board reportedly has a storage capacity of 400,000 tonnes, and plans to expand that to 1.1m tonnes by 2013. Farmers can get an Rs 1,500 (US$30.8) subsidy per tonne as part of a government storage development initiative.
Prices on the domestic market are expected to drop this month as the late harvest makes an impact.