Buy onions from farmers directly, experts tell government

The central government decision of importing 10,000 tonnes of onion will not bring down the current soaring prices. Industry experts feel that the government should start buying from the farmers directly and selling it to the consumers.


Nanasaheb Patil, chairman of Agriculture Product and Market Committee (APMC) at Lasalgaon said that supply of onion has completely dried up. “Most of the farmers have already sold their March produce. Onion is a perishable commodity. This year the upper layer of onions was getting blackish and therefore farmers could not hold it for a longer time,” said Patil. Two days ago, onion was sold at Rs63 per kg at the Lasalgaon wholesale market. Retailers add at least Rs10-20 per kg to recover their transport and other expenses. Currently, good quality of onion is being sold at Rs70-80 per kg.

Patil further said that in August and September onion prices do go up but they decrease once the new monsoon crops arrive. “This year, the scenario is different. Due to the long, dry spell and intermittent rainfall, most of the farmers started uprooting greenish onions and selling them in the market. The situation is quite alarming and by importing a few tonnes of onion will not bring down the soaring prices. The imported onions have to pass various quality tests. Besides, the taste and colour of these onions are different. Indian consumers do not like imported onions. They prefer the Nashik variety. Therefore, the current onion prices will not come down soon,” Patil explained.

Delhi govt plea
Delhi government has sought the Centre’s help to supplement their efforts to ensure sufficient supply of onions in order to keep their retail prices in control. The government has sent teams of Food and Civil Supplies Department to conduct surprise checks at fair price shops to ensure that customers do not buy onions beyond the specified limit.