The average wholesale price of onions in Lasalgaon, the country’s largest wholesale onion market, exceeded 3,800 rupees per quintal mark for the first time this season, the highest in the past six months. Retail onion prices have risen to Rs 50 per kg as against the previous prices of Rs 35-40 per kg in major cities like Delhi and Mumbai due to crop damages caused by heavy rains.
Narendra Wadhavan, Secretary of Lasalgaon Agricultural Market Committee (APMC), attributed the rise to reduced supplies due to continued rains that hit several states in the past two weeks. On Wednesday, average wholesale prices in Lasalgaon touched Rs 3,700 per quintal and were Rs 3,800 per quintal on Tuesday. Last month, prices were around Rs 1,450 per quintal at the same time.
The early Khareef crop, which was to hit the market in Doshera, was damaged by heavy rains, and the summer onion stock was depleted and damaged by rain. The farmers cannot visit the fields which are still flooded due to the rains and therefore the number of arrivals has decreased to around 5,400 kantars on a daily basis from 15,000 kantars to 20,000 kantars earlier last month, Wadhavan said. He said prices should stabilize once the late fall crop starts hitting markets from mid-November.
PK Gupta, Director of the National Horticultural Research and Development Corporation (NHRDF) described this as a temporary phenomenon. He said that there had been heavy rains in the onion growing belts of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Rajasthan which caused damages to the early Khareef crop. However, the acreage planted with onions has increased by about 25% this season, and the late Khareef crop is looking good in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Telangana. Iron desk