Business Bureau :
THE onion prices have shot up by more than two fold due to lower supplies in the wholesale market. The rise in onion prices has put tears in the eyes of housewives as they have to shell out more from their purses which is disrupting their household budgets. “The onion prices have steeply increased more than double as against prices one and half month ago due to short supply in the Kalamna wholesale market,” said Jaiprakash Vasani, former President of Kanda Batata Bazar Adaitiya Welfare Sanstha while speaking to The Hitavada. Last season, there was bumper production of onions which resulted in heavy fall in prices. At that time, onions prices were in the range of Rs 3 to Rs 5 per kilo in the wholesale market. The situation was so bad that farmers in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh were not able to recover production cost.
This season, most farmers diverted to other cash crops. Therefore, the acreage under sowing dropped by 50 per cent, Vasani said. Currently, most of the bulk arrivals are from Buldhana, Ahmednagar and Jalgoan in Maharashtra. Also, onions are also arriving from Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. On an average 15 to 20 trucks (16 tonne) daily arrive in the Kalamna market. About 10 trucks are consumed in Nagpur alone while the remaining trucks are sent to near by places, he said. However, the new onion crop will arrive in the market after a delay of one month as the rains came late. Most traders are anticipating that the prices would not fall till the new crop arrives in the market.
If the onion prices increase further from the current levels the Government may step in and release the buffer stock which they have stored to control movement of prices, he said. Currently, red onions are being quoted at Rs 28 to Rs 30 per kilo and white onions are at Rs 30 to Rs 32 per kilo in the wholesale market. One and half months ago red onion prices were in the range of Rs 15 to Rs 17 per kilo and white onions at Rs 18 to Rs 20 per kilo. In the retail market, onions are being sold between Rs 60 and Rs 80 per kilo which were earlier sold for Rs 30 per kilo, he added.