Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Amaraweera has called for an immediate report regarding the cultivation of big onions in the country from the Department of Agriculture.

The minister pointed out that the onion cultivation, which was successfully carried out for a long period of time, has now failed for the past seven or eight years, and that the farmers have abandoned the cultivation of big onions.

Accordingly, the Minister has instructed the Department of Agriculture to provide a report regarding the cultivation of onions with immediate effect, in order to look into this issue.

However, the Ministry of Agriculture states that the annual requirement of big onions in Sri Lanka is 300,000 metric tons, and that the amount of big onions imported during the period is 131,795 metric tons due to the national production being 4,716 metric tons.

Meanwhile India will impose a 40% export duty on onions with immediate effect up to Dec. 31 in an attempt to improve domestic availability of the vegetable, foreign media reported on Saturday.