BHUBANESWAR: Even as the price of pulses and edible oils remained firm, the spiraling price of onion added further stress on household budget.
Onion which was selling at Rs 20-a-kg in the urban markets or even less than Rs 15-a-kg in rural areas a month ago is now close to Rs 35-a-kg in the Capital City.
“Higher prices at the source markets is the reason behind increasing price of onion in the State . The average price of onion has jumped more than 50 per cent in the last two weeks pushing the per quintal price to Rs 2,550,” said sources in Aiginia, the main mandi for onion and potato.
Prices will remain steady at the current level or could rise further till new crop arrives in the market. Harvesting of the new crop is likely to be delayed this season due to monsoon rains.
Generally, new crops from Maharashtra start arriving towards the end of September and those from Karnataka start reaching State towards November-end or first week of December. Everything depends on the weather and yield of onion in the two major onion producing States, the sources said.
Supply from Nashik, the major onion market in Maharashtra, to Odisha has so far remained normal. While the daily requirement of the State is about 300 tonnes of onion, the Capital City needs about 25 tonnes. The market demand for onion till mid-June was met from local production, mostly by farmers of Western Odisha districts of Nuapada and Balangir.
Prices of onion started soaring as soon as domestic supply displayed a downward trend. The State recorded a good onion crop this rabi season, but lack of infrastructure, particularly storage facility, forced the farmers to sell their produce to outside traders at a much lower rate.
Official sources said, onion production was nearly five lakh tonnes as farmers took up cultivation in a big way following assurance from the State Government to offer support price for the crop. However, the Government backed out at the last moment forcing the farmers to go for distress sale for their produce.
Onion markets outside the State will continue to control the price till the State Government develops infrastructure for storage and backs the farmers with minimum support price, said leader of BJP Legislature Party Basanta Panda.