The relaxation in fumigation and phytosanitary certificate (PSC) requirement given to imported onions has been extended till January 31 next year, an official statement said on Thursday.
The relaxations will be subject to certain conditions, the Agriculture Ministry said in the statement. Strangely, this is being when the modal prices of onion in Azadpur mandi, Asia’s largest fruits and vegetables market, have fallen by nearly 2.5 times since the high of ₹4,550 per quintal in October. On December 16, the modal price stood at ₹1,850.
Onion prices in the country shot in October due to the crop loss owing to excess rains in major onion-growing areas in Maharashtra and Karnataka this year.
“Consignments of imported onions which arrive in Indian port without fumigation and such endorsement on the PSC, would be fumigated in India by the importer through an accredited treatment provider,” it said.
The consignment would be inspected thoroughly by quarantine officials and released only if found free from pests and diseases of concern to India. Further, if smut or dry rot is discovered during the inspection, the particular container will be rejected and deported. In case of stem and bulbs nematode or onion maggot detected, these should be eliminated through fumigation and the consignments released without additional inspection fee, the statement said.
The conditions also stipulate that an undertaking should be obtained from importers that the onions will be used only for consumption and not for propagation.