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Onion Prices surge across the country; Mumbai-Delhi retail markets sell it for Rs 80/kg

Onion prices continue to rise across metros in India with rates touching Rs 80 per kg in some places

Mumbai| The crunch in onion supply has sent prices soaring with many places across India is seeing an increase of nearly Rs 30-40 per kg. Poor supply has pushed wholesale onion prices to a four-year high.

Tuesday morning, onion prices continued their increase descent with the kitchen staple being sold for Rs 75-80 per kg in Mumbai and Delhi in retail markets.

In Bengaluru, Chennai and Dehradun prices touched Rs 60 per kg whereas Hyderabad retailers sell onions for Rs 41to 46.

Why there is an increase in the rate of onions?

A heavy monsoon has damaged crops and has caused a sudden spike in onion prices. The situation is expected to remain the same for at least one month.

“Due to the loss of onion crop for three consecutive years, farmers had thrown the crops on roads last year. Two farmers had committed suicide in Nashik. Now, the farmers say that the price is compensation for the three year-loss” said Hiraman Pardeshi onion trader from Nashik.

“Last year farmers grew only half of the usual production. The heatwave in May and subsequent heavy rains this year left only 50 per cent of the crops” added Pardeshi.

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“Last year when the farmers threw their crops, neither the government said anything nor did the onion-eating customers raise their voice. Now that the prices have increased everyone is blaming the farmers,” said Pardeshi condemning Government of India.

Meanwhile, Nafed director Nanasaheb Patil said that the harvest had been low from the start. “Heavy rains in Southern states, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, and Maharashtra damaged the crops and the new onion crop that comes in September has been delayed by a month,” said Patil.

He told that customers will have to deal with the soaring onion prices till November.

What initiative the government has taken?

The Centre has taken several measures to reduce the prices of onion in Delhi and other parts of the country. It is releasing onion from its buffer stock through agencies like Nafed and NCCF which are selling at around Rs 22/kg and state-run Mother Dairy at Rs 23.90 per kg in the national capital.

To restrict onion export, the government has set its minimum export price (MEP) at $850 FOB (free on board) per tonne.

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In Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday stated that the government will supply onions for Rs. 24 per kilogramme across the city via mobile vans. “Delhi Government is trying to procure onions from all sources that are available to them and tenders have been floated for the transportation of onions,” said Kejriwal.

Heavy rains in states such as Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh have exacerbated the seasonal shortage, said, officials.

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