State-owned trading firm MMTC, which is importing onions on behalf of the government, has contracted an additional 12,500 tonnes of edible bulb from Turkey to boost domestic availability and control prices.
Onion prices are ruling at an average Rs 100 per kg in major cities, but rates are as high as Rs 160 per kg in some parts of the country. In the national capital, prices have touched Rs 118 per kg.
"With this additional 12,500 tonnes, the total contracted onions so far for imports have gone upto 42,500 tonnes," an official statement said.
MMTC has been directed to enter into contracts for imports by the Price Stabilisation Fund Management Committee (PSFMC) of the Department of Consumer Affairs.
The latest contract of onions will begin arriving in India from mid-January onwards.
"A bulk of the contracted onions to the tune of approximately 12,000 tonnes will arrive in India before December 31, 2019 which will then be supplied to various States in line with their respective demand," the statement said.
This is likely to immediately reduce the prices and improve overall availability, it added.
Onion production is estimated to have declined by around 25 per cent in the Kharif and late Kharif seasons of 2019-20 crop year compared to the previous year due to late monsoon and then excess rains in the major producing states.
The government has banned exports and imposed stock holding limits apart from imports to check prices.