KURNOOL: Onion price is increasing day by day. On Monday, it reached an all-time high of Rs 10,180 per quintal at Kurnool Agriculture Market Yard, the highest in the history of the market since its inception. Officials say that the price may touch Rs 15,000 per quintal at the market in the coming days.
Damage of onion crops in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Odisha and other States in the recent floods is the reason behind the unusual price rise. With non-availability of onion in the neighbouring States, Kurnool onion merchants are exporting them to these States and Nepal.
Around 4,000 quintals of onion from various parts of the district have been arriving at the market in a day for the past one month. Around 80 per cent of arrivals in Kurnool are exported to other areas, Kurnool Agriculture Market Yard secretary R Vijaya Lakshmi said. She stated that if they receive 4,000 quintals of onion, nearly 3,200 quintals will be exported to other States. "This price hike may continue till December-last," she said.
According to officials, this year, onion sowing was less compared to last year. “While onion was cultivated in 32,000 hectares in the district last year, this year it was only 25,000 hectares,” officials said. Assistant Director of Horticulture department B Raghunath Reddy said that Kurnool is the largest producer of onion in the State followed by Kadapa and Anantapur.
“The farmers of Kurnool district are fortunate this year. With crop damages in Karnataka, Maharashtra and other States, all have to depend on Kurnool Agriculture Market. Presently, a kg of onion is being sold at Rs 101.80, based on wholesale rate, at the Kurnool Agriculture Market Yard,” he said.“While all vegetables are being sold at Rs 40- 60 per kg, onion prices touch Rs 120 per kg in retail markets,” wholesale vegetable vendor P Hanumantharao Chowdary said.
Chowdary said that anticipating similar trend, retailers may resort to hoarding. “The vegetable prices have gone up. There is not much of a difference in the number of customers as vegetables, especially onion, are necessary for everyday needs, but regular customers buy lesser quantity,” Chowdary added.B Srilatha, a resident of Udyoganagar, said that the increase in prices has caused lot of problems. “Onion is being sold at Rs 100 to Rs140 per kg in the retail markets,” K Viswanath, a customer, said.
D Naveen Gupta, a supermarket owner, said: “Inflation has not only hit buyers, but also sellers. “We stock vegetables, but customers are purchasing them in small quantities now. Sometimes, a lot of edibles get stale in the shop. Now, people purchase vegetables in grams instead of kilograms,” he said and added that even hotels and Bajji centres, are not supplying/offering onion to customers.