The onion crisis is becoming bigger in the country. This year, onion production is expected to decline by 40 per cent. Now the Indian government has decided to provide the facility to buy onions from four countries Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan and Egypt. Onions in Delhi were sold from 80 to 100 rupees per kg. This is the situation in many areas of the country. Now, to overcome the shortage of onion, the government has decided that it will help traders to import onion from above mentioned four countries.
Onion price is between 80 to 100 rupees across the country, at some places it is getting only 25 rupees per kg. The Modi government is increasing the availability of onion from buffer stock in Delhi and onion is being sold at a successful outlet of Mother Dairy at a rate of Rs 24.90. Consumer Affairs Ministry official says that the rate is expected to come down in the next few days, because the arrival of new crops has started in Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Karnataka. This year, the price of onion was seen again this year. In the last one week, onion prices have gone up by 45 percent in Delhi (delhi). Onion became 80 rupees a kg in Delhi.
Why the Onion price increased
Onion supply is decreasing in Sabzi mandis of Delhi (Azadpur, Okhla, Keshopur) and its effect is clearly visible in Delhi. Onions from abroad will take time to reach India. Till then, people will have to bear the rising onion prices. According to the data available with the Food Ministry, onions have become costlier during the first week of November. The retail price of onion in Delhi increased from Rs 55 a kg to Rs 80 a kg.
First the monsoon came late, then the heavy rains damaged the onion crops. Due to which, last year saw a rise in its prices. This year, excessive rains damaged onion crops. Onion-growing states Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar saw a rapid monsoon. Onion production was affected due to excessive rains. Onion prices rose due to low production. Experts say that there is not only one reason why onion prices rise every year. Besides floods and drought, onion prices also rise due to illegal hoarding of onions. Every year hoarders start hoarding onions before the festive season. Because of which onion prices go up.
Prices may go up to Rs 150 a kg
Every year, measures are taken to prevent the onion prices from rising. Onion exports are banned, onion stocks are banned, government agencies start selling onions at cheaper prices. But in spite of this, onion keeps making the people cry. For the first time in 1980, onion prices saw a huge jump. Onion was out of reach of common man. In 1998, onion prices once again started skyrocketing. Its prices in Delhi became a political issue. Onion prices rose again in 2010. After 3 years in 2013, onion was sold up to Rs 150 a kg in many places. In 2015, onion prices once again made people cry. Apart from this, onion prices rise almost every year in September-October.
Why the Price increase during this season time
Sowing season also affects prices during the months of October and November, also there are three seasons of onion cultivation in India. First kharif, second after kharif and third rabi season. Onion is sown in the Kharif season in July-August. The onion crop sown in the Kharif season comes in the market in October-December. Sowing of onion in the second season is done in October-November. They are harvested in January-March. The third crop of onion is the Rabi crop. It is sown in December-January and harvested from March to May. According to one figure, 65 per cent of the total onion production is in the Rabi season. In this cycle of onion sowing and its arrival in the market, after May, the next crop of onion comes in October. Meanwhile, the arrival of onions decreases significantly in the month of August-September. In these months, prices rise due to decrease in onion arrivals. It takes up to November month for new crop to arrive. During this time, prices of onions seem to be skyrocketing.
Prices also increase due to Storage
With proper storage of onion, its prices can be controlled. But there are problems in storing onions in India. According to one figure, India has only 2 percent onion storage capacity. 98 percent onion is kept in the open. During the rainy season, onion starts to rot due to moisture. About 30 to 40 percent of onion rot due to storage problem. Onion prices also increase due to the waste.
Onion consumption is also high according to demand
Onion consumption is also high in India. Onion is used in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian mines. According to a figure of the Government of India, 908 people per thousand people in India eat onions. Over 100 crore people eat onions. In this context, onion production in India is low.
23 million tonnes of onions are produced in India. Of this, 36 percent of onion comes from Maharashtra. After this, onion production is about 16 percent in Madhya Pradesh, about 13 percent in Karnataka, 6 percent in Bihar and 5 percent in Rajasthan.
Delhi’s Politics and Onion Prices
Onion has the power to overthrown Government. At the time when onion was being sold at Rs 50 a kg in Delhi. The BJP failed to return to power in Delhi despite an unprecedented performance in the Lok Sabha elections and Sheila Dixit became the Chief Minister of Delhi by removing Sushma Swaraj who enjoyed power for 15 years. If the matter of Dixit is to reach below the peak of power, then onion can be considered as a big reason for this. At the time when Sheila Dixit’s good days, bad days changed, at that time even onion prices were on the sky. However, now that Arvind Kejriwal is the Chief Minister of Delhi and onion prices have skyrocketed to around Rs 100 a kg once again. So it will be interesting for us to see their political future as well.
Get Onions at Safal (Mother Dairy) Stores at Rs 24.90/kg
Whereas onion price is between 80 to 100 rupees across the country, at some places only 25 rupees per kg is being available. Mother Dairy is selling onions at a rate of Rs 24.90 per kg from buffer stock through over 400 successful sales centers in Delhi-NCR. The Modi government is increasing the availability of onion from buffer stock in Delhi and onion is being sold at a successful outlet of Mother Dairy at a rate of Rs 24.90. Consumer Affairs Ministry official says that the rate is expected to come down in the next few days, because the arrival of new crops has started in Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Karnataka. On the initiative of the Central Government, long queues of people are seen on the news of getting onion 25 rupees at the successful outlet of Mother Dairy. On October 31, the price in Delhi was Rs 55 and in 7 days the rate has increased by 45%. In November last year, onion price was Rs 30-35 per kg. The current rate is more than double compared to a year ago.
The condition is that some outlets are getting complaints of onion stock running out. Onion is not available even after waiting for 2 hours in line at many outlets. Tomatoes are being sold to consumers from 40 to 60 rupees per kg, onion 70 to 80 rupees per kg and garlic 160 to 180 rupees per kg. There is little hope that prices will be reduced further.
What is Government doing on Onion Prices
In order to keep the onion prices under control, the central government had stopped the hoarding two months ago, while the export was stopped. This time the government has decided to import from Iran, Afghanistan, Egypt and Turkey to increase onion supply and keep prices under control. The news agency gave this information citing official sources. Onion prices have reached Rs 70 to 80 per kg. The Food Minister asked the top officials of the department to take immediate action on black marketing of onions in the capital and provide daily reports. The Food Secretary said that the states from which onions are supplied to Delhi. There has been a decrease in arrivals due to heavy rains and absent workers from onion crop on the occasion of Diwali and Chhath Puja. It is because of this that there has been a sudden price increase.
Now the government has extended its deadline to 30 November to promote the import of onions. Along with this, the rules of import have also been relaxed. This move of the government will improve onion prices.Despite the government’s move to increase supplies and control prices, the retail price of onion in Delhi has risen by 45 per cent to Rs 80 per kg in the last one week. According to government figures, onion price on October 1 was Rs 55 a kg. The supply of this vegetable has been affected after heavy rains in onion producing states like Maharashtra. Due to this, onion prices in the national capital are skyrocketing. Indian missions in Afghanistan, Egypt, Turkey and Iran have been asked to supply onions to India. It is expected that onions will reach India in 80 to 100 containers soon and then prices can be expected to go down.