CHENNAI: Minister for Cooperation Sellur K Raju on Thursday vouched for the quality of Egyptian onions, which are being imported to Tamil Nadu through the NAFED (National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India).
“We are getting 500 metric tonnes of Egyptian onions within a day or two. But already, rumours are being spread about it. Egyptian onions have high sulphur content which is good for the heart. The shelf-life of this onion is also higher than the onions from other countries," the minister said.
"Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami has tasted this onion and praised it. I am giving slices of this onion to you (Press); please taste it and tell the truth to the people," the minister said in a jovial manner.
Raju assured that the price of small onions which is largely used in Tamil Nadu would come down gradually since 25,000 metric tonnes of onions would be harvested in the state next month, and added that the state is also importing onions from Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
To avoid a similar shortage in future, Raju said the state agriculture department had given 25,000 kg of seeds to farmers for cultivation of small size onions in 60,000 acres in Pudukottai, Theni, Erode, Salem, Sivaganga and Ramanathapuram districts. These are consumed by about 90 per cent of the families in the state.
The larger onions used by hotels are being cultivated only in 6,000 acres, the minister further said, adding that the sudden fluctuation in the price for big onions was the reason for farmers not opting for it.