Onions to become expensive in Telangana

Onion prices in the state is set to touch price range of Rs 50 to Rs 70 per kg by March

Hyderabad: Onions are all set to leave consumers teary-eyed once again as the prices are soaring in states on which Telangana is heavily dependent for supplies. Telangana lacks adequate onion production and imports the bulb from Maharashtra, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh.

Onion prices in the state have increased from Rs 25 per kg to Rs 35 per kg in a week in the retail market and is set to touch price range of Rs 50-Rs 70 per kg by March.

In the ongoing Rabi (Yasangi) season, farmers in TS have opted for paddy, groundnut, maize and wheat but not onions.

As per statistics available with the marketing department, Telangana state consumes 5.08 lakh metric tonnes of onions every year or 42,400 metric tonnes per month. Of this, the state grows less than 2.5 lakh metric tonnes, that too in the Kharif season.

It procures the rest of the onions from other states, and any fluctuation in prices in those states immediately impacts Telangana.

The agriculture and horticulture departments speak of encouraging onion cultivation only when the prices hit the roof. The policy of offering sops or incentives to farmers to encourage onion cultivation remains on paper.

No subsidy being provided on onion seeds, there is no minimum support price nor marketing facilities. Besides productivity is low when compared with other crops which is also discouraging farmers.

Farmers are forced to pay more for purchasing quality onion seeds, fertilisers and pesticides to protect crops as they are more prone to pest attacks. Onion prices are also under the control of a traders’ cartel. All these factors make farmers to shy away from onion cultivation.

Farmers have not sown onion in even 100 acres in the ongoing crop season. The normal sown area in Yasangi is 21,869 acres. Last year, it was sown in 9,536 acres by this time of the year. This year, it was sown in just 92 acres against 9,405 acres which is the normal sown area by now.

Mahbubnagar district alone accounts for 80 per cent of onion production of the state, but this time there are no takers even there.

The biggest onion market in state is Malakpet market where 10,000 quintals of onions land every day from other states. This has come down to less than 5,000 quintals and could go down further.

This is feared to lead to severe shortage of onion stocks and escalation of prices by March.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
Next Story