Onion prices shoot up in Odisha | Bhubaneswar News timesofindia.indiatimes.com

timesofindia.indiatimes.com

BHUBANESWAR: Onion prices have brought tears to the eyes of consumers once again as it crossed Rs 50 per kg in the retail market. Government said it is a national phenomenon but consumers said it is making holes in their pockets and affecting family budget.
“We had already reduced consumption of onion as the price is remaining high and has been selling between Rs 37 and Rs 40 per kg for last one month. But now when it crossed Rs 50 per kg it is difficult to balance the kitchen budget,” said Mamata Panda, a homemaker. She said, she is buying one kg onion a month instead of three kgs earlier due to price hike.
The rise in wholesale prices at source states is the main reason for the skyrocketing prices of onion and it may soar further in coming days, said market insiders.
“At one go whole sale price of onion increased from Rs 3500 per quintal to Rs 4500 per quintal at the source centres like Nasik. So its impact felt here and price increased to Rs 50 per kg. Due to high prices demand and import to the state has gone down in the last few weeks,” said Ratnakar Swain, a wholesale onion trader in the city.
Blaming it on the bad weather state Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister Ranendra Pratap Swain said, the government is keeping a close watch on the situation. “Less production along with heavy rain and floods in main onion growing states has led to rise in onion prices across India and also in Odisha. The situation is likely to continue till Diwali festivities,” he added.
Around 1500 metric tonnes ofonion is brought to the state every day, which has reduced to around 1100 metric tonnes while Bhubaneswar consumes around 300 tonnes of onion every day.
Odisha being a consuming state the onion crisis continue to haunt consumers of Odisha every year. In a bid to help the state come out of the crisis the state government had launched Onion Mission in the lines of Potato Mission in 2015. The mission had aimed to ensure increase in production and proper storage facility for the bulb in the state in three years. But unfortunately the mission failed to make any substantial increase in onion production nor could it create more storage facilities in the last few years.
“The condition of cold storages in the state became bad to worse and many are on the verge of closure. The potato and onion mission launched by the state were mere farce and did not make any difference,” said Janardan Sahu, Secretary, Odisha cold storage association.
Though the state has been producing more onion than its annual requirement due to lack of storage facilities a large amount of the produces go waste or farmers are forced to distress sale a large amount of it. The state produces around 3.95 lakh metric tonnes (MT) of onion every year against the demand of 2.95 lakh MT, official sources said. The state largely depends on states like Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh for onion. Due to heavy rain fall in these states onion harvest got affected leading to price rise if the bulb across India.



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