VIJAYAWADA: Setting the panic button on in middle and lower income group consumers, onion prices have started steadily rising over the past month. Giving a rude shock to consumers, while onions are priced about Rs 25 a kg in rythubazars, in the open market the rate is shooting up to the range of `30/kg and even touching Rs 35/kg at some places in the city.
While onion prices revolve around Rs 10 normally, over the past one month price has been steadily rising. “Already onions were priced high at about Rs 15 to 18, a month ago but no one took notice. But with the price further increasing to Rs 25-30/kg everyone started complaining. We are fearing that prices might further shoot up,” said B Nagaveni a homemaker from Tarapet.
With a delayed monsoon and less than average rainfall forecast, it might become hard for farmers to come up with sufficient production in the coming days, making not just onions but even other vegetables dearer.
“About 15 to 20 tonnes of onions are consumed in Krishna district per day, including Vijayawada. Major supplier of onions for us are Maharashtra and Karnataka. Right now its good season in Maharashtra. Nashik and Ahmednagar are the places from where we are importing right now. As there is a good demand for onions nation wide and as prices are higher in other states, they are diverting the produce to those states, leaving us with less stock. As a result prices rise obviously,” explains Tatikonda Swamy, a wholesale onions merchant at KaleswarRao Market.
AP depends for nine months on Maharashtra and Karnataka for onions and the demand for remaining two to three months is met by local farmers. It isgrown in parts of Kurnool, Krishna and Guntur districts. Estate officer of Kedareswarpet Rythubazar Kiran says that the prices may decrease if local farmers can supply some produce or if good rainfall is registered in the coming days. With both propositions appearing unlikely, onions might bring tears to consumers once again.