BENGALURU: Time to stock up on onions. The bulb is set to become a prized possession with the monsoon playing spoilsport –traders say the price of this kitchen essential is due to go sharp north in the days ahead, while the quality will nosedive.
They blame the monsoon, flooding and poor inter-state coordination for this. Onion traders say that a kilo of onion, which cost Rs 10, almost doubled during the festive period, after the lockdown was eased and markets were opened. But now the price is likely to shoot up further.
At present, 1kg of onion costs Rs 20-30, depending on the size, and is likely to escalate to Rs 40-50; in some places, a superior grade of the bulb costs Rs 50, and could go up to Rs 80. “During the festival season, though cost was rising, we didn’t escalate the price too much as we feared we would lose whatever little business we were getting after the lockdown was lifted.
But now we will be forced to sell at a high price if there is poor supply,” said a trader. C Udayshankar, secretary of the Onion and Potato Traders’ Association, Yeshwantpur, said that most of the retailers did not hike prices during the festival, but now costs are set to rise. “Heavy rainfall and flooding in Maharashtra has damaged standing crops.
So far, the onion coming from Maharashtra is old stock, and will not last long. The new stock will be moist and have more water content, making them difficult to store for long,” he said. Last year too, consumers, farmers and traders had faced a similar situation, where onion quality had dipped and cost was high. “Apart from Maharashtra, heavy rain and flooding in North Karnataka will also lead to a price escalation. The picture will be clear after a fortnight, when new stock starts coming in. The stock arriving from Maharashtra is of poor quality and there is no new produce from Karnataka so far,” he added.