THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Right now, calling it ‘small’ is proving to be a misnomer. With the prices of shallot (small onion) stuck at I120 per kg, the state government is looking to directly purchase it to arrest the unprecedented price rise.
“The proposal involves approaching the markets in neighbouring states directly,” Food and Civil Supplies Minister P Thilothaman said.
“The consignments to Kerala mainly originate from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. We are looking at the possibility of purchasing shallots directly from the sources to see if the price can be brought down.”
Prices of shallots began to soar in May and it hasn’t dipped ever since.
While the big onion was priced at just I20 per kg in Chalai Bazaar on Saturday, shallots cost a whopping I120 per kg. Wholesale prices stood at I11,700 per quintal. Normally, the price of small onions hovers around I30 a kilo.
State government-agency Vegetable and Fruit Promotion Council Keralam (VFPCK) pegged the daily market price of small onions at I108 per kg on Saturday.
The Civil Supplies Department and retailers attribute the spurt in prices to the recent drought. The prices of shallots, an essential ingredient in regional cuisines, had begun to hit a tear-jerking high by the middle of May, when it crossed I80 a kilo.
The prices of various other vegetables are also high in the market. Beans cost I80 per kg, bitter gourd I70, eggplant (brinjal) I60, cowpea I80 and big green chillies I160.
Shallots are brought to Kerala mainly from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu
Rs 120 Prices of shallots per kg
Rs 20 Price of big onion per kg
The Civil Supplies Department and retailers attribute the spurt in prices to the recent drought