Onion Price rise in India

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Onion Prices rise to Rs. 80/kg in Delhi NCR and Rs.70/kg in some other parts. The surge in prices only benefiting traders and not farmers.

India is the 2nd largest onion growing country in the world, after China. As per 2010-11 data, India’s production (000MT) was 15118.00, productivity (MT/HA) was 14.2 and total % share in the world in terms of production was 19.90. This is the 2nd highest in the world. China’s overall % share in the world in terms of production was 26.99; which is the highest.

Onions of India

Indian onions have two crop cycles. First reaping starts in November and ends till January. The second harvest goes from January to May. Indian onions are available for the whole year. Indian onions are famous for their sharpness. The utmost onion producing states are Maharashtra, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, and Gujarat. Maharashtra is the top onion producing state with a share of 28.32%.

Onion, not only important for internal consumption but also works as the highest earner in the foreign exchange market in the company of fruits and vegetables.

Major Onion buyers of India:

  • Bangladesh
  • Malaysia
  • Sri Lanka
  • Nepal
  • UAE

Highest Price rise of onions turned out in Mumbai; 76%.

Why Price rise?

  • Last year drought and delayed monsoon this year
  • Harvest period has been delayed due to excessive rainfall in onion growing regions.
  • The Plethora of monsoon and flooding in Major onion producing states for eg: Bihar, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh.
  • Onion hoardings by some illegal trade practitioners during festive seasons

Why Price rise during this time only?

Every year there is a price rise in September to November and Prices becomes low in May-June. The reason behind this is the Harvest Cycle of onions. A large chunk of onion crop- about 80% is grown in Rabi or Winter season and sown during December and January.

Crop is ready for harvest throughout in April-May. Supply increased due to high production led to low prices. Same for the Kharif or summer season onion crop, sown during May-June and harvest during October-November. Rest 20% grown in summer season; led to a shortage of supply in the month of September-November. For instance, this harvest takes time to reach markets causing more demand in markets and automatically led to high prices.

Agriculture Minister: Narendra Singh Tomar said that government is taking steps to normalize the prices. He said The NAFED has an adequate stock of onions, which is releasing to the markets from the central buffer at a lower price. The centre has approx 56,000 tonnes of onion buffer stock. In Delhi, 200 tonnes a day is being dropped.

National Cooperative Federation of India and Mother Dairy’s Safal stores are selling onion at the rate of 22-23/kg.

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