Price of onions escalates in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: After tomatoes, the price of onions has shot up in Odisha’s wholesale and retail markets, forcing the state administration to keep a strict vigil on black marketing and hoarding.

The price of the kitchen staple has almost doubled in the past few weeks. While onions used to be sold anywhere between Rs 13 and Rs 15 per kilogram last week, they are being sold at around Rs 28 to Rs 30 per kilogram in the markets now.

Onions are grown in the winter season in the state and farmers sell their crop to Chhattisgarh and other states right after the harvest due to lack of storage facility. As a result, the state has to depend on Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh to meets its requirement.

Odisha produces 3.95 lakh tonnes of onions every year against its requirement of 2.97 lakh tonnes, said an official of Food, Supplies and Consumer Welfare Department.

“As the price of onions, which are sourced from the Nashik market in Maharashtra, has been increased, we are feeling the impacts. The lack of storage facilities also impacted the onion price in the state,” said Food Minister Surya Narayan Patro.

He said the department has asked the district level officials to keep a strict vigil on the market and curb hoardings.

“We are selling onion at our fair price shops at ‘no gain- no loss’ basis in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar,” Patro added.A

General secretary of All Odisha Traders Association Sudhakar Panda said the wholesale price of onion in Nashik has gone up to Rs 2,500 per quintal.

“When the goods reach Odisha, it comes to Rs 2,600 per quintal. So, the retail price also goes up accordingly. The state government must create storage facilities to keep the perishable goods,” he said.