Onion price surge likely in Odisha as supply stops
The Central government on Friday decided to resort to market intervention in states where the average retail price of onion stays above the national average price of Rs 29.73 per kg.
BHUBANESWAR: As Odisha did not figure in the list of states for market intervention by the Centre for the sale of onion at a subsidised price of Rs 25 per kg from the latter’s buffer stock and since the supply of the vegetable from Maharashtra has come to a halt due to farmers’ agitation over the imposition of 40 per cent duty on exports, a further surge in the price of the edible bulb looms large.
The Central government on Friday decided to resort to market intervention in states where the average retail price of onion stays above the national average price of Rs 29.73 per kg. While the asking price of the essential kitchen commodity in retail markets of Odisha is more than Rs 35 a kg, the state qualifies for market intervention by the Centre through its two agencies National Agriculture Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED) and National Cooperative Consumer Federation (NCCF).
However, the Centre has released 1,400 tonnes of onions from its buffer stock to targeted markets of five states-Delhi, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Himachal Pradesh in the first phase as part of its market intervention scheme. Retail sales through NCCF and NAFED started in the markets of Delhi on Monday.
“Odisha is treated as the least priority state by the Central government as far as market intervention is concerned to stabilise the rising prices of pulses or pricey vegetables like tomato and onion. The state government’s inertia is largely to blame,” said Odisha Byabasayee Sangh general secretary Sudhakar Panda.
Release of 1,400 tonnes from the central buffer is too small to meet the huge demand of all states, he added. “We are expecting a fall in the price of onion in major wholesale markets of Maharashtra after the imposition of a hefty export duty. Supply of onion from Maharashtra has stopped following farmers' protests there from Sunday. A clear picture of the market condition will emerge once the supply resumes,” general secretary of Aiginia Vegetable Merchant Association Shakti Shankar Mishra told The New Indian Express.
He, however, said there is no need to panic as the onion stock in the state will last for two days. If the farmers’ protest in Maharashtra continues, there will be a problem. Mishra further said summer onion crop in Maharashtra and Gujarat, two major producing states was damaged badly due to heavy rains and floods.