Onion Prices Set to Rise as Farmers Opt for More Profitable Crops
DECCAN CHRONICLE | Sanjay Samuel Paul
HYDERABAD: Onion prices are set to bring a tear to the common man’s eyes, with wholesalers reporting a sharp rise in prices, from Rs 1,800 per quintal of the best quality product to Rs 2,800 per quintal and from Rs 1,300 per quintal for second-grade product to Rs 2,000 per quintal.
Many believed that the price rise would hit the public as onion is a main ingredient, consumed both raw and in cooked forms. Further, as it is the wedding season, the price rise is set to have a cascading effect across society.
People say that many restaurants are already refraining from offering complementary onion salad alongside curries.
Chigumalla Mallikarjun, of C. Malliah and Sons Agencies, a wholesaler at Mahbubgunj of Malakpet, said, "Earlier, more than 100 truckloads used to come to this market each day, mostly from Maharashtra and Kurnool. Presently, between 50 and 70 trucks are coming, in which around 20 are from government marketing houses and the rest from private players. The number of trucks from Kurnool has dropped steeply, as farmers are cultivating chilli and cotton more, aiming for better profits."
He said, "In the past two weeks, third-grade onion was sold in bulk quantities in auto-trolleys and pushcarts a Rs 15 per kg. Now, because of the short supply, we can see there is a rise in the price. But this is a flexible commodity; price can also come down. We cannot predict."
Joint director of the TS agricultural marketing department, K. Rajashekar Reddy, who provided the data on the prices, said that onions were getting costlier.
"On September 1, the price of first-quality was Rs 2,700 per quintal and second quality was Rs 1,600 per quintal. On September 4, they respectively rose to Rs 2,800 and Rs 2,000 per quintal."
He said, "If we take the data of June 1, the price of first-quality was Rs 1,800 per quintal and second-quality cost Rs 1,300 per quintal."