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For the procurement, NAFED and NCCF are to pre-register the onion farmers to ensure that payments to the farmers are transferred to their bank accounts through Direct Benefit Transfer.

In the current year, the Government has directed NCCF and NAFED to initiate procurement of 5 lakh tonnes of onion for the buffer requirement directly from the farmers as Rabi-2024 harvest started arriving in the market. For the procurement, NAFED and NCCF are to pre-register the onion farmers to ensure that payments to the farmers are transferred to their bank accounts through Direct Benefit Transfer.

Rabi onion is critical for country’s onion availability as it contributes 72 -75 per cent of annual production in the country. The Rabi onion is also crucial for ensuring year-round availability of onion as it has better shelf life compared to Kharif onion and can be stored for supplies till November- December.

It may be recalled that the Department of Consumer Affairs had, through NAFED and NCCF, purchased about 6.4 LMT of Onion during 2023-24 for the buffer stocking as well as intervention by way of simultaneous procurement and disposal. The continuous procurements by the NAFED and NCCF have guaranteed remunerative prices for onion farmers all through the year in 2023. Subsequently, the Department of Consumer Affairs adopted retail sale intervention for disposal of onion through retail outlets and mobile vans operated by NCCF, NAFED, Kendriya Bhandar and other State controlled cooperatives at subsidized price of Rs.25 per kg during last year. The timely intervention and calibrated release ensured stabilization of retail prices effectively without impacting farmer realization.

Global supply scenario and dry spell induced by El Niño had necessitated the Government to take up policy measures to regulate onion exports during FY 2023-24. These measures included 40 per cent duty on onion exports imposed on 19th August 2023, imposition of Minimum Export Price (MEP) of USD 800 per MT with effect from 29th October, 2023 and export prohibition w.e.f. 8th December, 2023 to ensure availability of onion to the domestic consumers at affordable prices.

The recent decision to extend onion export prohibition has been necessitated by the overall domestic availability against the prevailing international prices and global availability concerns.  The Government, meanwhile, has allowed exports to neighboring countries that rely on India for their domestic consumption requirements.  The Government has allowed the export of Onion to Bhutan (550 MT), Bahrain (3,000 MT), Mauritius (1,200 MT), Bangladesh (50,000 MT) and UAE (14,400 MT i.e. 3,600 MT/ quarter).

For the procurement, NAFED and NCCF are

The Federation will soon take the number of mobile outlets from 50 to 100 and add atta, rice, and moong dal

National Cooperative Consumers’ Federation of India Limited (NCCF), a unit of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Government of India, has launched the ‘Bharat Dal’ brand in Tamil Nadu to sell high-quality pulses and rice to consumers at subsidised price. AASSAAN Global Trade has been appointed as the authorised distributor of Bharat Dal.

Currently, 50 mobile vans sell Bharat Dal brand chana dal directly to customers at main locations in towns and villages in each district. The number of mobile outlets will be increased to 100 and new items such as atta, rice, and moong dal will be added soon. 

This flagship initiative of NCCF aims to stabilise prices, curb food inflation, and augment domestic availability. Bharat Dal is already sold at various places in North India with an overwhelming response from consumers. 


To make pulses available to consumers at affordable prices, the Central Government is maintaining a buffer stock of five major pulses, namely, chana, tur, urad, moong and masur under the Price Stabilisation Fund (PSF). The stocks from the buffer are released in the market in a calibrated and targeted manner to control prices. The chana dal, under this arrangement, is also made available to state governments for supplies under their welfare schemes, police, and jails, and also for distribution through the retail outlets of state government-controlled cooperatives and corporations. 

The Federation will soon take the number

Department of Consumer Affairs procures 5.06 LMT onion for disposal through e-sales, e-Nam auction and bulk sale.

The Government has initiated aggressive retail sale of onion from the buffer at subsidised price of Rs 25 per kg to protect the consumers from recent increase in onion prices due to delay in the arrival of kharif crop. This comes as another measure in addition to the slew of measures put in place to ensure availability and affordability of onion to domestic consumers such as, imposition of Minimum Export Price (MEP) of USD 800 per MT with effect from 29th October, 2023, enhancement of buffer procurement by 2 lakh tons, over above 5.06 lakh tons already procured, and the continuous disposal of onion through retail sales, e-Nam auction and bulk sales in wholesale markets from second week of August.

The Department of Consumer Affairs has started aggressive disposal of onion through retail outlets and mobile vans operated by NCCF, NAFED, Kendriya Bhandar and other State controlled cooperatives at subsidised price of Rs 25 per kg. Till 2nd November, NAFED has set up 329 retail points, consisting of stationary outlets and mobile vans, in 55 cities across 21 states. Similarly, NCCF has set up 457 retail points in 54 cities across 20 states. Kendriya Bhandar too, has started retail supply of onion through its retail outlets across Delhi-NCR from 3rd November, 2023 and Safal Mother Dairy will start from this weekend. The retail sale of onion to consumers in Telangana and other southern states are being taken up by Hyderabad Agricultural Cooperatives Association (HACA).

In order to control the seasonal price volatility between rabi and kharif crops the Government maintains onion buffer by procuring rabi onion for subsequent calibrated and targeted release. This year, the buffer size has been raised to 7 LMT from 2.5 LMT in 2022-23. Till date 5.06 LMT of onion has been procured and the procurement of balance 2 LMT is in progress.

The proactive measures taken by the Government has started showing result as onion prices in benchmark Lasalgaon market declined from Rs.4,800/qtl on 28.102023 to Rs.3,650/qtl on 03.11.2023, a decline of 24 per cent. Retail prices are expected to show similar decline from the coming week.

Department of Consumer Affairs procures 5.06 LMT

Centre issues advisory for mandatory stock disclosure of Masur (lentil) with immediate effect

The Department of Consumer Affairs, Government of India has issued an advisory for mandatory stock disclosure of Masur (lentil) with immediate effect. All the stakeholders should mandatorily disclose their Masur stock on the stock disclosure portal (https://fcainfoweb.nic.in/psp) managed by the department every Friday. Any undisclosed stock if found, will be considered as hoarding and suitable action under the EC Act would be initiated.

Rohit Kumar Singh, Secretary of, the Department of Consumer Affairs, during the weekly price review meeting, instructed the department to broad-based the lentil buffer procurement. The objective is to procure available stocks at prices around the MSP. This came at a time when NAFED and NCCF had to suspend their tenders to purchase imported lentils due to exorbitantly high bids received from few suppliers amid hints of cartelisation.

Secretary, of Consumer Affairs, stated that at a time when lentil import flow increases from Canada and Tur imports from African countries, few players are trying to manipulate the market against the interest of the consumers and the Nation. The government is watching the developments very closely and will initiate stringent measures to get the stock released into the market so that the availability of all pulses at reasonable prices during the festival season is ensured.

He further added that judiciously balancing the interest of the farmers vis-à-vis the consumers is paramount and that the Department will not hesitate to initiate stern action against those trying to hurt the interest of Indian consumers and farmers in an unscrupulous manner.

Centre issues advisory for mandatory stock disclosure

As per directives from Department of Consumer Affairs, NCCF will sell onions at retail price of Rs 25 per kg.

In an unprecedented move the Government raised the quantum of onion buffer to 5.00 lakh metric tonnes this year, after achieving the initial procurement target of 3.00 lakh metric tonnes. In this regard, the Department of Consumer Affairs has directed NCCF and NAFED to procure 1.00 lakh tonnes each to achieve the additional procurement target alongside calibrated disposal of the procured stocks in major consumption centres.

Disposal of onions from the buffer has commenced, targeting major markets in States and UTs where retail prices are above the all-India average and/or are significantly higher than the previous month. As on date, about 1,400 MT of onions from the buffer has been dispatched to the targeted markets and are being continuously released to augment the availability.

Apart from releasing in major markets, onions from the buffer are also being made available to retail consumers at a subsidized rate of Rs.25/- per kg through retail outlets and mobile vans of NCCF from tomorrow i.e., Monday 21st August 2023. Retail sale of onion will be suitably enhanced in coming days by involving other agencies and e-commerce platforms.

The multipronged measures taken by the Government onion like procurement for the buffer, targeted release of stocks and imposition of export duty will benefit the farmers and consumers by assuring remunerative prices to the onion farmers while ensuring continuous availability to the consumers at affordable prices.

As per directives from Department of Consumer

Tomato to be distributed at discounted prices to consumers in places of concern including the Delhi-NCR region

The Department of Consumer Affairs has directed National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED) and National Cooperative Consumers Federation (NCCF) to immediately procure Tomatoes from Mandis in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra for simultaneous distribution in major consumption centres where retail prices have recorded maximum increase in the last one month. The stocks of Tomatoes will be distributed through retail outlets at discounted prices to the consumers in Delhi-NCR region by Friday, this week.

The targeted centres for release have been identified on the basis of the absolute increase in retail prices over the past month in centres where prevailing prices are above the All-India average. Key consumption centres in states having a higher concentration of the identified centres are further selected for the intervention.

Tomato is produced almost in all the states in India, though in varying quantities. Maximum production is in southern and western regions of India, contributing 56 per cent-58 per cent of all India production. Southern and Western regions being surplus states feed to other markets depending on production seasons. The production seasons are also different across regions. The peak harvesting season occurs from December to February. The periods during July-August and October-November are generally the lean production months for tomatoes. July coinciding with the monsoon season adds to further challenges related to distribution and increased transit losses adding to price rise. The cycle of planting and harvesting seasons and variation across regions are primarily responsible for price seasonality in Tomato. Apart from the normal price seasonality, temporary supply chain disruptions and crop damage due to adverse weather conditions often lead to sudden price spikes.

Currently, the supplies coming to markets in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and some other states are mostly from Maharashtra especially Satara, Narayangaon, and Nashik which is expected to last till this month end. Madanapalle (Chittoor) in Andhra Pradesh also has continued arrivals in reasonable quantities. Delhi-NCR arrivals are mainly from Himachal Pradesh, and some quantity comes from Kolar in Karnataka.

New crop arrivals are expected soon from the Nashik district. Furthermore, in August, additional supply is expected to come from Narayangaon and Aurangabad belt. Madhya Pradesh arrivals are also expected to start. Prices are anticipated to cool down in the near future, accordingly.

Tomato to be distributed at discounted prices

The implementation of stock limit orders and the status of stock disclosure on the portal are continuously monitored by the Department of Consumers Affairs and the State Governments

The Government has decided to release Tur from the national buffer in a calibrated and targeted manner till imported stocks arrive in the Indian market. The Department of Consumer Affairs, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution has directed National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED) and National Cooperative Consumers Federation (NCCF) to dispose of Tur through online auction among eligible millers to augment the available stocks for milling into Tur Dal for the consumers.

The quantities being auctioned and the frequency will be calibrated on the basis of the assessed impact of the disposal on the availability of Tur to consumers at affordable prices.

It may be recalled that the Government had imposed stock limits on Tur and Urad by invoking the Essential Commodities Act, of 1955 in order to prevent hoarding and unscrupulous speculation and also to improve affordability to the consumers. Under this order, stock limits have been prescribed for Tur and Urad until 31st October 2023 for all states and UTs.

Stock limits applicable to each of the pulses individually are 200 MT for wholesalers; 5 MT for retailers; 5 MT at each retail outlet and 200 MT at the depot for big chain retailers; last 3 months of production or 25 per cent of the annual installed capacity, whichever is higher, for the millers. The order has also made it mandatory for these entities to declare the stock position on the portal (https://fcainfoweb.nic.in/psp) of the Department.

The implementation of stock limit orders and the status of stock disclosure on the portal are continuously monitored by the Department of Consumers Affairs and the State Governments. In this regard, data on stocks held by various entities in warehouses of Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) and State Warehousing Corporations (SWCs), stocks pledged by market players with banks etc. have been crosschecked against the quantities declared on the stock disclosure portal.

The State Governments are continuously monitoring the prices in their respective States and are verifying the stock positions of stock-holding entities in order to take strict action on those who violated the stock limits order. 

The implementation of stock limit orders and