Iranian onions arrive in Madurai markets

Iranian onions can be bought for ₹65 a kg whereas home-grown onions, which are in short supply, are sold for ₹80 at the Central Vegetable Market at Mattuthavani in Madurai.   | Photo Credit: R. ASHOK

Around 25 tonnes of onions, imported from Iran, arrived at the onion market on East Marret Street here a couple of days back to arrest the steep rise in price of onions. Traders say limited quantities of imported onions have arrived in Mattuthavani and Paravai markets.

S.T.M. Thiagarajan, a trader in central vegetable market in Mattuthavani, said the imported onions were being sold for ₹15 to ₹20 lower than the price of onions brought from Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh - the major areas where onions are cultivated.

“In the wholesale market, imported onions can be bought for ₹65 a kg. But Indian onions are sold up to ₹80, depending on the quality. These Iran onions were largely purchased by hoteliers as it is profitable for them, said S. Alagurajan, a trader on East Marret Street. “Since these imported onions are huge, many residents don’t evince much interest in buying for their domestic use,” he added.

Mr. Thiagarajan said the traders were planning to bring in more quantities of the imported onions. Discussions were being held with other traders to stabilise the selling price of the imported onions. However, purchasing smaller quantities of Iranian onions will not have a huge impact in reducing the price of onions, said S. Manuel Jeyaraj, president of Madurai Central Vegetable Market and Perishable Commodities Merchants Co-ordinated Association.

The traders attribute the rise in prices of onions to reduced supply from other States. “The city is receiving only 50% of onions that is usually bought by the traders. This is mainly due to heavy rains in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, which destroyed the crop” said Mr. Jeyaraj.

Till Deepavali

The prices of onions would remain high till Deepavali, said president of Central Market Wholesale Vegetable Vendors Association P.S. Murugan.

An Cooperation department official said onions would be sold for ₹45 a kg at farm fresh outlets in Madurai in two days. In the initial phase, we have placed an order for one tonne onions. We will increase the quantity of onions sold at the outlets based on demand from the public,” he said.

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2020 5:17:14 AM |

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