The official said West Bengal has been able to ramp up its annual production to 7 lakh tonne per annum from 4 lakh tonne a few years back.
West Bengal has drawn up plans to set up a 50,000-tonne humidity-controlled cold storage facility for onions in Murshidabad district, a senior official said. The cold storage is likely to be operational from 2021, he told PTI. “It will be the first specialised cold storage for onions in the country of such a scale. The facility will have an optimum capacity of 50,000 tonne,” West Bengal Agri Advisor to the chief minister, Pradip Kumar Mazumdar, said. “This facility will help avert a sudden spike in prices. Unlike potato, onions require humidity control at 55 per cent for longer preservation,” he said.
The project will be executed by a private sector company. “The land is ready, technology is from Italy and financial closure will be achieved shortly to facilitate actual contruction,” Mazumdar said. So far, only small-sized cold storages are in operation in major onion-producing belts in the country.
The official said West Bengal has been able to ramp up its annual production to 7 lakh tonne per annum from 4 lakh tonne a few years back. The state’s annual consumption, however, stands at 8.5 lakh tonne.
The ICAR-Directorate of Onion and Garlic Research had recently said in a study that the traditional method of storing onions causes wastage as high as 46 per cent. Wastage reduced to just 7 per cent when the edible bulbs were kept under a temperature of 27 degrees Celsius and relative humidity level of 60-65 per cent, it said.