Onion price surge due to strong domestic demand, say experts
In the midst of enforcement of Model Code of Conduct for state assembly election scheduled on October 21, increasing onion prices in the district have added to the worries of not only consumers but also the government. Onion price hit the highest at Lasalgaon Agriculture Produce Market Committee with a per quintal rate touching Rs 5100. This is the highest price so far in the district.
Agriculture experts opine that the onion traders have started buying onion due to increasing demand in the domestic market. Meanwhile, citing a rise in onion prices, a central delegation recently visited Lasalgaon APMC to review the availability of onion stock on the backdrop of a surge in onion price. However, onion farmers in the district have taken strong objection to the review-visit of the central delegaton stating that the delegation does not pay visit in times when the onion prices fall.
The onion producing farmers from Lasalgaon, Pimpalgaon Baswant, Umrane and adjoining areas are asking the government why it not listen to the farmers when prices of onion fall. The govt should think not only of onion consumers but also of onion producers, they said urging the central ministries not to intervene in the current price scenario of onion. The onion farmers however say that the rise in prices not actually benefitting farmers.
A central delegation from Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare and Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution recently visited Lasalgaon APMC to study onion price surge and availability of onion stock.
In order to control onion prices the Centre had decided to import 2000 MT of onion and fixed Rs 750/MT minimum export price (MEP).
However the move did not impact the market, according to experts. “Currently the prices of onion are in commensurate with the increasing demand. Hence the govt should not interfere in it and there is no need to take measures to ease prices. In other markets, onion is still being sold at the rate between Rs 3500/quintal and Rs 4000/quintal,” opined Bhausaheb Sonawane, a onion producer.
“In a bid to control prices of onion the govt had sent a high level delegation at Lasalgaon market. The govt will have to face stiff opposition from farmers if the per quintal prices fall below Rs 4000, warned Hansraj Vadghule, state president, Yuva Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana.
Meanwhile, reports say that the Centre is mulling imposing stock limits on onion traders as the retail prices of the key kitchen staple have shot up to Rs 70-80 per kg in the national capital and other parts of the country owing to supply disruption in the wake of excess monsoon rains in the major growing states.