Onions @ Rs 70-a-kg bring tears to aam aadmi
The price of onions, the most common ingredient in almost all recipes, has skyrocketed from Rs 35 to Rs 60. The wholesale markets and commoners are hit hard by the shortage of onions as the supply from Maharashtra, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh plummeted.
The retail price for onions likely to soar due to heavy rains
Hyderabad: The price of onions, the most common ingredient in almost all recipes, has skyrocketed from Rs 35 to Rs 60. The wholesale markets and commoners are hit hard by the shortage of onions as the supply from Maharashtra, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh plummeted.
“Due to the incessant rains in Maharashtra, farmers are unable to harvest them. Tonnes of onions lie rotten though they are being sold for Rs 60 per kilo. We used to get at least 100 truckloads of onions, but these days, we have not been able to see more than 40 trucks coming in,” said Yadagiri, who monitors the supply of onions at Malakpet mandi, the primary onion distribution source for entire Hyderabad. The warehouses in the mandi were all empty with only a few scattered onion bags lying in the storage area.
The retail price for onions has been anywhere between Rs 65 and Rs 70 in the city and in many cities across the country. It may be recalled that a couple of months ago, the Central government was considering stoppage of exports of onions, in order to contain food inflation.
"Heavy rainfall led to the reduction of stock in major onion producing states like Maharashtra. Low production, increased transportation charges and labour costs fuelled the prices. Besides, the decision of Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar of not imposing ban on export of onion has pushed the prices further," said Pervez Alam, President of Lucknow Phal Sabzi Vyapar Mandal. The wholesale dealers of onions at Malakpet mandi have blamed the increasing demand and reduction of supply in the city, which is also a genuine reason, considering the uncontrolled explosion of urban migration and the State’s failure in coming up with proactive contingency plans.
The people have no option but to wait a couple of months until the Kurnool onion season begins. However, there have been reports that farmers and distributers have been hoarding the onions due to the sudden increase in prices. It is not just the onions which have become unaffordable. The prices of vegetables have also increased steeply due to the low shelf-life of veggies during the rainy season, according to local vegetable vendors.
For poor families, onion curry becomes the main food preparation as they cannot afford the expensive veggies. Now, even they are in a fix as to how to stick to their scarce family budget. “This is food security,” commented A Chintamani, a homemaker.