Rising onion prices hit vendors, consumers across India

Last Updated: Fri, Feb 01, 2013 10:00 hrs

Although cutting onions usually tends to make one cry literally, the prevailing market conditions across India have made the wholesale merchants and retail sellers as well as consumer weep, courtesy the scarcity resulting in steep hike in the prices.

Within the span of a day's time, onion prices rose by around rupees 30 as on Friday to the utter shock of vendors and consumers.

Vegetable sellers were furious since they were compelled to bridge the gap of demand and supply amid skyrocketing prices.

At the Azadpur Mandi (wholesale market) in New Delhi, vegetable sellers stated that these trends had cropped up over the past one week.

"A week earlier onions were costing rupees 70 to 75 per lot (of 5 kilograms) which we in turn were being sold at rupees 15 to 16 per kilogram. Now within a week's time, it has shot up by rupees 22 to 23. Today, it is costing rupees 110 to 120 per lot (5 kilograms). No wonder, the customers are facing problems and we cannot do anything about this because it is prevailing all over," said Prakash, a wholesale seller of onions at the Azadpur Mandi.

As a result of steep increase in the prices of onions, the vegetable vendors have no takers.

Incidentally, onion is one of the staple ingredients in Indian cuisine, be it from the kitchen in a poor family's home or a roadside eatery and a star-rated restaurant.

"It surely affects our business. Now we are helpless here. Our business thrives a lot on onions. Now we are falling short of customers. Now we are taking lesser sacks of onions from here," said Champak, a retail seller of vegetables.

On their part, the government has attributed the new bout of inflation in the vegetable market to the scanty rainfall that hit the country's main onion producing belt in the western states of Maharashtra and Gujarat.

Gujarat, the major producer of onions is also experiencing tough times because of this situation in the market.

"The poor people will surely face troubles due to this. The increase of rupees 25 to 30 in prices is a cause of concern for the poor man. We are also facing a shortage of the retail buyers. But we cannot do anything about it. There has been a difference of about 50 percent in the output of production," said Rajesh Patel, a merchant at the wholesale market of Ahmedabad. (ANI)

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