The price shoot of onions is affecting all over India. Customers are finding hard to manage their pocket for its purchase, as onion plays a key role in cooking food. Its price continues to soar in Maharashtra.
According to Hindustan Times, In Maharashtra, the average price of onions has reached Rs 7,990 per quintal in Lasalgaon on November 29. Lasalgaon is known to be the country’s largest onion market. It sets the price trend for onions, for the entire country. The Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) has said that Rs 7,990 per quintal was the highest rate for onions in APMC’s in the 72-year history.
The reason for an increase in the average price of onions is because of the early Kharif onion crops were hit badly by unseasonal rain, an APMC official told the leading daily. Suvarna Jagtap, chairperson of APMC, Lasalgaon told the Hindustan Times that onions prices are still on the rise and could bring more tears to consumers till January-end. But the prices are likely to be stabilized by the end of January said by the chairperson of APMC.
Households and restaurants in India are stumbling under pressure as onion prices have rushed exponentially on the higher side across the country. A kilo of onion is retailing at Rs 90-100 in most Indian states, soaring high at Rs 120-130 per kilo in major cities like Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai, Odisha, and Pune.
But to save people from this price hike of onions, the government is trying to import onions from Egypt, Turkey, Holland, and other countries. Currently, MMTC has signed contracts with Egypt for onion imports and an onion consignment of 6,090 tonnes will be available in the country next month.
Due to the high demand for onions, even the lesser-known quality of onions from Andhra Pradesh that has less shelf life is being sold at Rs 100 catching the consumer’s attraction.
While many consumers have cut down on onions and have been relying on cheaper quality, traders say due to the unavailability of the crop and lack of interference from the government, the prices are likely to remain high.
Abdul Khader, secretary of Koyambedu Vegetable Wholesale Merchants Association and S Chandran, Market management Committee Licensed Merchants Association President and Anaithu Sangankalin Kootamaipu general secretary, told Express that they have never encountered such a burst in the price of onions since they were trading in Chennai for the last 40 years.
Chandran says the price is a record high. “The half-hearted measures to buy 20 percent of the stock and sell it at a discount will not help. The government has to purchase the entire stock and introduce it in the market at competitive rates, to bring down the price. Traders claim that lack of availability has pushed the prices up. The rains which have played chaos in Maharashtra have affected the crop. Onions were marketed from Karnataka to North India. The consequence of this was that there was a huge demand and the price picked up.
Onion, the kitchen staple, is currently being sold at Rs 150 per kg in West Bengal and Hyderabad while in Bhubaneswar, Kota and Chandigarh; it is priced at Rs 120 per kg.
The onion rates remained high in Hyderabad. Rich people can afford it but it is a problem for poor people to meet out their needs. The government should subsidize the rates so that every section of people can purchase them.
Amidst the skyrocketing prices, state-run trading firm MMTC has placed an onion import order of 4,000 tonnes from Turkey. The shipments are expected to reach by January.
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