Not only the onion, the prices of other vegetables have also shot up over the past few weeks in the City burning a hole in the pockets of common man.
The prices of brinjal and beans have increased the most. While beans are sold at Rs 30 to Rs 50 per kg at Unit 1 market, it costs about Rs 45 at the vegetable retail outlets. Similarly, brinjal is sold at about Rs 40 per kg in the Unit 1 market and Rs 45 at the retail outlets. One cauliflower has been priced at Rs 30 and ginger is also steeply priced at Rs 150 per kg.
This is the scenario of vegetable market in the city at a time when onion prices have already reached an all time high in the city. “We have never sold onion at such a high price. Even during super cyclone, the onion price hovered at about Rs 24 per kg and last year it reached a high of Rs 32. Never before has it touched Rs 50,” said Unit 1 market general secretary Gayadhar Swain.
Usually, the everyday demand for onions in the city is about 250 tonnes, but currently the supply is 30 tonne. The substantial drop in the supply has pinched the market badly. The reason behind high prices is being attributed to the State’s dependency on other states to procure vegetables. At this time of the year, onion comes from Karnataka, specifically Bengaluru. Most of the vegetable supplies also come from Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh (Rajahmundry).
Since produce by State’s farmers is not sufficient to meet overall demand, most of vegetables are brought in from other States. “If our indigenous produce can meet the State’s requirement, the price hike will not be so steep or volatile. The current prices will take at least four months to stabilise,” said Swain. The prices of vegetables are deemed stable when they are within Rs 20 per kg. Government has started operating about 100 special counters to sell onion at a regulated price of Rs 48 per kg. The special counters will be operated throughout the State.