VIJAYAWADA/VISAKHAPATNAM: Onion prices skyrocketing up to Rs 60 a kilogram have brought tears to the eyes of the common man.
The prices shooting up by almost double in the past one week were attributed to heavy rains in the neighbouring Maharashtra, from where the state gets maximum supplies of the commodity.
Officials and commission agents said the cost might even touch Rs 80 a kilogram, or even more, in the coming days due to the rapid fall in supply.
In Vijayawada, onion price in Swaraj Maidan rythu bazar has touched Rs 40 per kg, while in Kaleswara Rao wholesale market it was more than Rs 45. In retail markets, onion was available for Rs 60 per kg.
Currently, the crop from Maharashtra was only available in Krishna district and marketing officials were planning to get more onions from Kurnool to bring down the cost. The demand in Swaraj Maidan rythu bazar alone was over 10 quintals per day.
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“Paying Rs 40 alone for onions, which are a basic ingredient in any food, is quite heavy on our pockets. Now there is no alternative other than reducing the quantity of its usage,” said B Saraswati Devi, a homemaker.
The district usually received 250-300 quintals of onions every day at a time when the daily requirement in Vijayawada city alone was 170 quintals. However, with the fall in supply Krishna district has lately been receiving 200 quintals per day.
Speaking to TNIE, Marketing Assistant Director-Krishna district M Murali Krishna said, “We are currently dependent on the produce from Maharashtra. The supply has decreased due to floods in the state. So planning is underway to get onions from Kurnool.”
In Visakhapatnam markets too, the prices of onion shot up by Rs 10-Rs 15 in just five-six days. While onions of Nasik were sold at Rs 45 a kg, Kurnool onions were priced at Rs 36 a kg at rythu bazars.
In open market, the commodity was available for Rs 55-Rs 60 a kg. Many consumers at Seethammadhara and MVP Colony complained that they were forced to spend more on onions.
According to marketing officials, the sudden rise in onion prices was due to fall in supply from Maharashtra and Kurnool, where the crop was damaged due to floods and heavy rains.
Short supply also impacted retail sales in Poorna Market, Kancharapalem, Marripalem and Gopalapatnam of Visakhapatnam.
Usually 80 to 100 tonnes of onions were procured from Maharashtra and Kurnool daily. However, for the last 10 days only 32 tonnes of onions were procured from Maharashtra.