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400 per cent rise in onion price in a year makes markets weep

Prices of onion have failed to come down in many parts of the country and this is probably the first time that the retail price has been over Rs 40-50 per kg for more than six months.

Published: 03rd February 2018 02:03 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd February 2018 06:48 AM   |  A+A-

Packed sacks of onions kept for delivery are seen at an empty wholesale fruit and vegetable market in Pimpalgaon. (Photo | Reuters)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The largest wholesale onion markets in the country — Lasalgaon, Pimpalgaon and Bengaluru — have witnessed a rise in wholesale price of onion by up to 400 per cent over the last one year. Due to this, the business in these markets has taken a hit and the total number of vehicles entering the markets has come down by up to 30 per cent, as per the ministry of agriculture data.

Prices of onion have failed to come down in many parts of the country and this is probably the first time that the retail price has been over Rs 40-50 per kg for more than six months. Even as smaller markets have seen a marginal rise and fall, the retail prices in the cities are hovering at around Rs 40 a kg.

Agriculture ministry officials said the prices of onion are not going down substantially as there has been a fall in production. It is expected to decline 4.5 per cent to 21.4 million tonnes in 2017-18 as against the previous year’s 22.4 million tonnes. They said the prices will stabilise in the coming days with the arrival of new crops from Maharashtra, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.

A reply in the Rajya Sabha on Friday by the ministry also disclosed that the total number of vehicles entering Maharashtra’s markets has decreased and ranges from 5.81 per cent to 31.50 per cent, depending on the type of vehicle. However, the number of tractors entering the markets has increased by 11.13 per cent. Officials said the trend was visible because of fall in supply in wholesale markets.

Officials said due to the inclement weather conditions in Maharashtra including cyclones and low pressures forming along the west coast, production of onion was adversely affected in areas like Sholapur, Nasik, Ahmednagar and Lasalgaon.

Last year, the Centre had approved proposals for procurement of 6,51,000 Metric Tonnes (MT) of onion in Madhya Pradesh and 20,000 MT in Rajasthan in view of the request from the respective state governments.

Onion Price hike:

400% rise in wholesale price of onion over one year

4.5 fall in onion production expected, from 22.4 million tonnes in 2016-17 to 21.4 million tonnes in 2017-18

B40-50 per kg is the price the vegetable has been selling at for more than six months

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