Post-floods, onion prices bring tears to the consumers

The current retail market price per kilogram is anywhere between ₹ 100 and ₹ 130

Onion prices have hit the roof once again bringing tears to the working poor and middle class families. While many parts of the city are marooned and cut off from markets, the ubiquitous onion bulbs have become the most sought after. The current retail market price per kilogram is anywhere between ₹ 100 and ₹ 130.

With truncated salaries due to COVID-19, spending money on these storage roots are burning a hole in the pockets, complained Afzal Ali, a private employee from Humayunnagar. With heavy rains in the onion source markets like Kurnool in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, the crop was submerged in rainwaters and farmers failed to reap their produce. Kurnool market yard, which used to get a daily average of 5,000 tonnes is now sliced down to less than 1,000 tons. This had upset the supply-demand matrices pushing up the prices consequently, said an market yard official. Hyderabad Onion Traders Association president Cheguri Venkat Ramana told The Hindu that the city requires at least 300 tonnes of onion per day and the supplies are now being procured from Maharashtra. Though arrivals are steady, the supply has become a major challenge due to recent floods, he said. Onion trading in the city takes place at Mahbub Mansion also known as Malakpet Gunj, State’s largest chilli and onion wholesale market.

The minimum and maximum wholesale onion prices were recorded at ₹ 4,000 and ₹ 9,000 per quintal, respectively on Wednesday. Prices have doubled in one week. The produce which is coming to the gunj is from Nasik, Solapur, Ahmednagar, and other districts of Western Maharashtra. “Whatever we are getting is a stock product. Even there the crop was damaged due to rains,” Mr. Venkat Ramana said. He said that the prices of the bulbs may see an uptrend in the short term.

According to him the white onion has become a premium, as only 100 tonnes arrived from Raichur in Karnataka on Tuesday and only 70 tonnes from Kurnool on Wednesday. Those who have turned into consuming organic farm products are finding that buying organic onions is now a luxury even for the well-to-do families.

The prices of other vegetables have also seen a traction in their prices making vegetable consumption very dear for the families. Some families are even going for alternatives like cooking without onions and by substituting tamarind with tomato.

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