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Onion prices surge in India amid supply shortage

Prices of onion have increased, with the bulb selling at Rs 40 to Rs 50 per kg in the retail market, compared to Rs 25 to Rs 33 last week.

Traders associations of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack attributed the price surge to a supply shortage and high wastage due to prevailing heat. Lower quality onions are selling at Rs 40 to Rs 45, while better ones are at Rs 50 per kg. Wholesale prices are Rs 7 to Rs 8 less than retail rates. The cost of three kg of onions is Rs 1-2 less than the per kg retail price.

Odisha primarily procures onions from Nashik in Maharashtra and Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh. President of Chhatra Bazaar Traders' Union, Debendra Sahoo, said, "Since the Nashik markets have started exporting onions to other countries, the supply to Odisha has reduced. Also, a substantial part of the stock is damaged because of the heat. So, the vendors are forced to increase the price."

Vegetable markets in the state capital need 70 to 80 tonnes of onions daily. Aiginia, the biggest wholesale market for onions and potatoes, requires 200 to 250 tonnes per day. Chhatra Bazaar in Cuttack needs nearly 50 tonnes daily. President of the vegetable traders' Association of Bhubaneswar, Kabiraj Swain, said the price will remain high till the new crop arrives. "The crop from Kurnool arrives before Ganesh Puja. Only after it rains, the farmers will harvest the new crop there. Till then, the onion price will remain high," he said.

Prices of other vegetables remain high. Potatoes are selling at Rs 90 for three kg in the Twin City, up from Rs 80 last week. Pumpkins are retailing at Rs 20 to Rs 25 per kg, while tomatoes and brinjals are around Rs 40 to Rs 50. The 'desi' variety of pointed gourd is Rs 80, and the hybrid is Rs 35 per kg. "The production of vegetables in Odisha is very low and whatever is being grown here will be available only after rains," Sahoo added.

[ Rs 100 = €1.10 ]


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