Pune: Severely hit by the extended rains, onions once again started making consumers break into tears. As expected, prices of onions started rising on Monday when the market opened after the week-long Diwali holidays. Onions from Kharif crop started hitting the markets in Pune, Nashik and Lasalgaon but there is a severe short supply. Similarly, the supply of vegetables in the market has declined by 30 to 40 per cent, which resulted in its price rising severely. According to sources, the situation of the market is going to remain same for the next one month due to short supply.
In Pune market, 11,925 quintals of onions have been supplied on Monday. The produce has fetched maximum price of Rs 3,600 per quintal. This means the produce is being sold at the cost of Rs 36/kg in the wholesale market. This price rise is going to be reflected in retail prices in a couple of days and onion will cost more than Rs 50 in coming days.
The maximum price of onions in Lasalgaon market has reached Rs 3,250 per quintal as against Rs 2,200 per quintal.
Rs 2,200 per quintal was the price when the markets closed a week ago for Diwali holidays. The onion market in Lasalgaon received 8,796 quintal onions on the first day. The first crop of the Kharif also hit the market on Monday.
Anticipating the steep rise in the prices of onion, Minister for Food and Civil Supply Ramvilas Paswan, last week, announced that government is extending its decision of imposing a stock limit on the traders in order to curb the rise in the prices. But despite this, the prices of onions are increasing, thanks to the short supply in the market. Market insiders said government attempt to curb price rise is going to fail. It could not control price rise of onion even if it decided to stop export.
Changdeorao Holkar, former director of National Agriculture Marketing Federation (NAFED), told Sakal Times, “The government has extended its stock limit on traders till December this year to curb price rise of onions, but despite this, onion prices are increasing mainly because of short supply in the market. Due to damage to crop, there is 60 per cent decline in supply to the market, which is not going to change soon.
The vegetable, which was sold at a cost of Rs 20 to Rs 25 per kg in retail market before Diwali, now costs Rs 40 to Rs 50 per kg. Holkar said, “Southern states like Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh are placing orders from Maharashtra. Normally, produce from these states hit the market early. This year, they are not having enough produce. In international market also, there is no availability of onion. Therefore, the prices are likely to remain high until the late kharif crop from Maharashtra hits the market in December. Government efforts are not going to help this time.”
The crop in Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh has been damaged due to bad weather, therefore produce from Maharashtra is likely to get attractive returns. Government intervention in the market is not likely to be effective this time as there is a severe short supply in the market.