Bangalore Rose Onions: Key Facts, GI Tag, Exports, Production, characteristics
The Government of India recently allowed export of Bangalore Rose onions. Earlier the union government had banned the export of all varieties of onions. Bangalore rose onions were given with Geographical Indication tag in 2015.
Unique characteristics of Bangalore Rose onions
These onions have bulbs with flat base. They are spherical. They have a unique deep Scarlet red colour. Unlike the normal onions they are rich in anthocyanin, phenols and high pungency. Also, they are rich in Phosphorus, protein, iron and carotene.
The pungent property of these onions make them highly suitable to be used in pickles.
The Bangalore Rose onions are exported in large quantities and are rarely used in India. They are exported to countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Bahrain, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. In the financial year 2010-11 around 22,000 tonnes of Bangalore Rose onions were exported. However, this was less as compared to the exports in 2003-04 and 2005-06. In these years the export of these onions were 36000 tons and 32,000 tonnes respectively.
In order to increase the production and export, the Agri Export Zone was set up for the crop in Karnataka.
Also, the Government of India recently provided G I tag to the onions in 2015. These measures increase the production of Bangalore Rose onions in Karnataka to around 60,000 tonnes per year.
What is the issue?
The Government of India recently banned the export of onions to increase its availability in the country. This hit export of Bangalore Rose onions severely. 90 percentage of Bangalore rose onions and krishnapuram onions are meant only for Exports. Krishnapuram onions are similar to rose onions.
Around 80 percentage to 85 percentage of Bangalore rose onions are produced during Rabi season and the remaining are produced during kharif season. Due to the export ban, the farmers were forced to sell the Bangalore Rose onions at a very low price of Rs 6 per kg. This has affected the income of Bangalore rose onion farmers.