Pakistan to win onion and tomatoes war


ISLAMABAD – Pakistan is certain to win the vegetable war with India, as the government believes that banning onion export would increase its rival’s woes and reduce domestic public pressure, while a reciprocal ban on tomato exports would be curtailed through the easily available curd.
A senior Commerce Ministry source said Pakistan would not lift the ban on onion export through land route to India and would even impose a ban on exports through the sea route, as Sri Lanka too has started looking towards Pakistan to counter the massive hike in domestic prices of vegetable, one of the most important ingredient for curry delicacies in South Asia.
He said the ban was imposed after noting that within a few days, 31,000 tonnes of onion had been exported to India through the Wahga land route. Pakistani traders exported onion at an average of Rs 51 per kg, significantly lower than local prices.
Pakistan is meeting most of its domestic onion demand from the 53,000 tonnes of produce from Sindh. Half of the production from Sindh ha already been consumed and the remaining is likely to last until March. And the next harvest from Punjab would only be available by mid April. Before the ban came into force, onion price had increased to Rs 80 per kg in the local market, but prices have now fallen to Rs 40 per kg.
In India, onion price per kilo have risen to the equivalent of 150 Pakistan rupees, while the price is around 350 Pakistani rupees per kilo in Sri Lanka. Onion can be imported from other countries, but buying it from regional countries keeps the price at a lower level. Pakistan produces 1.7 million tonnes of onion each year and consumes about 1.5 million tonnes. Balochistan and Sindh are major onion producers, producing 39 and 31 percent respectively.
Punjab produces 18 percent of the harvest. The ministry source said India’s ban on tomato exports would not be a major issue for Pakistan, as the harvest from Sindh is still available, while the tomato crop from Rahim Yar Khan would be available within the next fortnight, which would significantly decrease domestic price. The substitute for tomato is curd, which is commonly available.
The government had estimated inflation at 9.5 percent in the federal budget, but revised it to 14.5 percent later, but the consumer price index of November shows that inflation has already risen to 15.4 percent. The wholesale price index has jumped to 24.6 percent, which economists say, will reflect in the CPI in the next three months.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN had recently issued a commodity advisory that said the recent bouts of extreme price volatility in global agricultural markets portend rising and frequent threats to world food security.


  1. bring to my brother to inform my all brother from the rate of tomato and potato and onion in pakistan. because there is alot of misunderstanding in my brothers they are bringing vegetables very costly

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