Kerala hopes Egyptian imports will wipe away onion tears

Onion and shallots traded at Rs 103.21 and Rs 147 per kilogram, respectively, on Monday

Published: 03rd December 2019 06:31 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd December 2019 06:31 AM   |  A+A-

Onions

For representational purposes (Photo| Arun Kumar, EPS)

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With soaring prices of onion and shallots burning a hole in the pockets of consumers, the state government is pinning hopes on the Centre’s move to bring in onions from Egypt. Of the 6,090 tonnes of onion to be imported by public sector MMTC this week, Kerala has placed orders for 460 tonnes. The onion will be available in the state from next week.

On Monday, onion and shallots were trading in the state at Rs 103.21 and Rs 147 per kilogram, respectively, according to the department of economics and statistics. Onion recorded the maximum price of Rs 115 in Pathanamthitta, with Palakkad remaining the lowest at Rs 87. The highest price for shallots (Rs 200) was recorded in Kasaragod while Malappuram (Rs 130) reported the lowest.

“In addition to onion, the state has requested 50 tonnes of shallots and 20 tonnes of garlic at subsidised prices from NAFED. As of now, only the supply of onion has been confirmed,” said a senior civil supplies officer. The import will help Horticorp supply onion at around Rs 55 a kg, according to J Sajeev, managing director. “At present, we are selling the Pune variety of onion for Rs 110 a kg. Small onion is sold for Rs 140 a kg,” he said.

Sajeev said Horticorp bears 10 to 20 per cent of the original cost to supply onion and shallots at subsidised prices. While the price of onion is expected to come down by the second week of December, the state is clueless on how to tackle the skyrocketing price of shallots. 

The civil supplies department’s efforts to procure the vegetable from other states did not materialise owing to shortage of the commodity. Sale of onion in the wholesale shops in Kozhikode have dropped to half. 
For the past five days onion is being sold between Rs 99 and Rs 110. On Monday onions were sold at Rs 99 per kg. 

Orders placed for 460 tonnes
Supplyco, under the civil supplies department, has sought 300 tonnes of onion while Horticorp, under the agriculture dept, has requested for 160 tonnes. Onion recorded the maximum price in Pathanamthitta (Rs 115), with Palakkad remaining the lowest (Rs 87). The highest price for shallots (Rs 200) was recorded in Kasaragod while Malappuram(RS 130) reported the lowest. The price is expected to come down by the second week of December

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