Madurai

Onion prices soar to ₹ 130 per kg

Only a small quantity of shallots arrived in the wholesale onion market in Dindigul on Wednesday.

Only a small quantity of shallots arrived in the wholesale onion market in Dindigul on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: G. Karthikeyan

At the Oddanchatram vegetable market, touted to be the largest market in the State in terms of the volume of vegetables, the price of shallots or small onions soared beyond ₹ 120 on Wednesday. The price rise was reflected in the other markets in southern Tamil Nadu, including Dindigul and Madurai vegetable markets. The wholesale price was between ₹100 and ₹120 and the retail price was ₹130 and ₹150, forcing people to forego shallots.

“People are skipping onions as the price pinch is too heavy. Only the Kerala market is taking onions now and we are sending truck loads to the markets there. The Bellary onions that are bigger in size have also become expensive with the whole sale price touching ₹80 and above,” said A. Rajendran, onion seller. The retail price of Bellary onions was ₹100 at the Dindigul market on Wednesday.

“The steep rise has affected households and hotels alike. However, it has not benefited farmers as only middlemen seem to be reaping money. The agents who stocked onions are now seeing huge profits,” he adds.

Shallots are cultivated in many districts in the State, including Coimbatore, Tirupur, Erode, Namakkal, Salem, Perambalur. Tiruchi, Theni and Dindigul, while the big onions come from Bellary and Maharashtra.

“Until one week ago, the seed crops were being sold for ₹ 2,000 per kg by the Agriculture Department. But now we are turned away saying there are no seed crops. At private shops, the seed crops are priced at ₹ 3,500 per kg. With one kilo of seed crop, we can sow nearly two acres,” says a farmer from Dindigul district.

Non-availability and high price of seed crops have put farmers in a fix, who are looking to cultivate shallots.

“It’s a 70-day crop and will yield in February if we sow now. If production is increased, the steep price rise will also come down,” he adds.

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Printable version | Apr 1, 2020 8:38:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/onion-prices-soar-to-130-per-kg/article30098239.ece

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