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Lasalgaon wholesale market

Onion prices reach a two-year peak in Maharashtra

In Maharashtra, at Lasalgaon, the largest wholesale market for onions in India, prices have reached a two-year high. This surge is attributed to reduced market arrivals, a consequence of unfavorable weather conditions and dismal crop forecasts. Onions were priced at ₹4,900 per 100 kg, with the market seeing only 390 tons of produce, a stark contrast to the 1,386 tons traded a year prior at ₹1,600 per 100 kg.

The scarcity in supply has led to an increase in retail prices, particularly noticeable in Delhi where onions are being sold for ₹60 to ₹80 per kg. According to a report by the National Horticultural Research and Development Foundation (NHRDF) in Nashik, Maharashtra, this price trend is expected to persist until the arrival of the new kharif crop at the end of October.

Adverse weather conditions have been identified as the primary cause for the current predicament, affecting the rabi crop harvested between March and May. R.P. Gupta, director of NHRDF, noted that the quality and quantity of the stored onions have been impacted, leading to a delay in the sowing and harvesting of the kharif crop across Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh.

India's onion production in the 2014-15 period was estimated at 18.9 million tonnes, slightly lower than the previous year's 19.4 million tonnes, with the quality of the winter harvest being notably poor. Presently, the country has utilized approximately half of its 4 million tonnes of stored stock, with losses in storage accounting for 10-15%.

Farmers have expressed concerns over the benefits of the price increase, highlighting the impact of the government's decision to raise the minimum export price of onions, which led to a rapid sale of produce to traders. According to Pandharinath Ahire, an onion farmer from Nashik, only a small fraction of farmers who retained their stocks are seeing profits from the heightened prices.

[ ₹100 = €1.10 ]


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