New Delhi: The onion crop this year has suffered due to the heavy rains this year.
This has sent the prices skyrocketing across the country, particularly in Maharastra, which contributes 90% of the national produce.
The daily supply of onions in the Mumbai vegetable market has gone down from 100 to 70 trucks per day.
The vegetable is more expensive than fruits and with prices rising by the day, public anger is also likely to go up. (fgfdgdfgdfg, via Shutterstock)
The Maharashtra state government has called for a meeting of agriculture officials on October 25 to discuss the rising price and unavailability in the market.
Shiv Sena MLC Kanhaiyalal Gidwani urged Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh to compel the Centre to impose a temporary ban on export of onions till the situation on price and availability front improved.
Despite the shortage, the Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar has ruled out the proposal of importing onions from Pakistan.
The scarcity however is so severe that prices have gone up by three times since last week.
This is the highest rise in the last eight years and prices are likely to go up further in the next fortnight.
In Nasik, onions have been selling for Rs 20- 25 a kilo this week compared to last week's Rs 14-15 a kilo. This is a huge increase from last year's Rs 7- 8 a kilo.
In Mumbai and Pune, onions are selling for Rs 20-30 this week. Last week they were being sold at a price of Rs 18 a kilo while last year onions were available for Rs 8-10 a kilo.
People in Nagpur have been buying onions for Rs 23 a kilo this week, while last week they were being sold for Rs 17- 18 a kilo. Last year the price stood at Rs 10 a kilo.
Onion is a key ingredient in most Indian dishes and many consumers are already beginning to feel the pinch as prices go up.
Consumers say they cannot afford such prices and will just have to stop eating onions.
As Diwali approaches, there are fears that traders might be hoarding onions, creating fresh troubles for the government.
The prices are expected to rise for another month as supply has dipped sharply and an immediate improvement is not expected before the mid November.