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Essential and expensive: Vegetable prices rise as supply falls

November 17, 2017 12:08 am | Updated 12:08 am IST - MYSURU

The retail cost of onions in Mysuru is between ₹50 and ₹60 a kg.

The retail cost of onions in Mysuru is between ₹50 and ₹60 a kg.

With the prices of onion and tomato, two essential vegetables, going north, families are being forced to replan their monthly domestic budgets and purchase in moderation.

The prices are unlikely to come down until fresh stocks, especially of onions, hit the markets. The prices began rising over a month ago and old onions (the red variety usually procured from onion-growing belts in Maharashtra) cost even more now.

In the retail market of Mysuru, onions cost between ₹50 and ₹60 a kg. Larger onions cost even more and the premium quality fetches ₹5 more per kg. Meanwhile, the hybrid variety of tomato is being sold at ₹55 a kg while the local variety is fetching between ₹40 and ₹45.

At the Horticultural Producers’ Co-operative Marketing and Processing Society (HOPCOMS) outlets here, onions are being sold at ₹55 a kg and tomatoes at ₹40 a kg.

HOPCOMS managing director Anand told The Hindu that onion prices in the wholesale market of the APMC here have gone up, forcing retailers to revise their selling price. The purchase price of onion is ₹40 a kg, plus 5% tax. “Despite the spiralling prices, we are selling onions at our outlets with a wafer-thing profit margin. Even the price of tomatoes has remained on the higher side, with the selling price hovering around ₹40 a kg,” he said.

Datta, manager at a HOPCOMS procurement centre, said there has been a drop in supply of onions from the major onion markets in north Karnataka and Maharashtra. This is following a fall in production owing to untimely rains.

“We have no agreement with the farmers on onion procurement. Therefore, we procure them directly from the wholesale dealers at the APMC [yard]. We pay them according to the day’s market rate with tax,” he said.

A cashier at a grocery shop in ‘I’ Block of Ramakrishna Nagar said customers keep asking why the prices have skyrocketed and why they have not stabilised even after so many days.

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