Flooding in main onion producing states results in spike in costs

Heavy unseasonal rainfall has locked newest onion produce in moist fields all through onion rising states of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Telangana. As a ripple impact, onion costs elevated in all places within the nation. The politically delicate bulb’s costs nonetheless are set to ease in coming months, sparking fears farmers is not going to get honest costs for his or her crop.

It rained almost one and a half occasions greater than regular in Maharashtra between October 1 to November 6, when rains doubled from the yr in the past in Karnataka and Telangana acquired 65% greater than ordinary. This unseasonal deluge broken crops on one third of Maharashtra’s cultivated space.


Farmers from the states affected by unseasonal rainfall are usually not capable of harvest their crop from fields submerged beneath rainwater, boosting common common wholesale costs by 120% inside a fortnight at Lasalgaon market in Nashik district; from Rs 25/kg on October 19 to Rs 55/kg on November four.

Even in capital Delhi, retail costs crossed Rs 80/kg degree. Lasalgaon units the benchmark of onion commerce within the nation.


Although costs are excessive, presently, there isn’t a scarcity of onions in Delhi, with every day arrivals crossing 1000 tonnes, a lot increased than town’s every day consumption, as recent harvest of onions from Rajasthan is feeding NCR. But, costs will stay costly in November and soften barely in December earlier than diving in January, when it is going to be farmers who could be severely affected.

Extra rainfall in Maharashtra, the highest onion producing state of the nation, in August, September, October and even November, destroyed the crops.

“I had harvested my onion simply earlier than Diwali and left it within the fields for drying. I can’t take it to market even right this moment as we now have been constantly getting rainfall not permitting the crop to dry,” mentioned Vikas Bhosale, a farmer from Indapur taluka of Pune district.

“The realm beneath kharif onion was much less by about 7% attributable to affect of drought and delayed onset of monsoon. Nevertheless, its affect is over now. The present rise in onion costs is primarily attributable to extra rainfall going down earlier in Karnataka and now in Maharashtra. Farmers have harvest-ready crop they don’t seem to be capable of harvest attributable to moist fields. They’re unable to dry the produce and take to the markets,” mentioned a prime official of the central authorities, who can’t be recognized as a result of he’s not authorised to talk to the media.

Sadly, Client Affairs minister Ram Vilas Paswan mentioned on Thursday that the onion costs rose as kharif crop fell brief by 30% to 40% this yr. Nevertheless, merchants and a few prime authorities officers strongly countered the minister’s assertion. They mentioned there’s sufficient accessible within the nation however the harvesting has been delayed.

“Such sort of statements coming from the minister will certainly result in rise in costs,” mentioned a dealer from Azadpur market.

It was the upper amount of onion storages at about 52-53 lakh tonne towards 50 lakh tonnes within the earlier yr that helped increase provides as rains broken recent crop.

At Lasalgaon in Nashik, the place rainfall has been heavy, arrival of previous crop that farmers saved over the previous 5 to 6 months, is greater than the brand new crop. On Thursday, Lasalgaon acquired 160 vans of previous crop and 6 of the brand new crop with common charges ruling at Rs 40/kg.

The sowing of the late kharif crop has additionally been delayed attributable to rains.

“I’ve misplaced greater than Rs 15,000 on onions seeds to date. I sowed about 12 kg seeds in two part and each occasions, the saplings rotted attributable to steady rainfall. I’ve as soon as once more sowed some seeds of the rabi crop. It’s cloudy even right this moment. I hope that it doesn’t rain anymore,” mentioned Sanjay Desale from Malegaon taluka of Nashik district.

On the neighbouring Ahmednagar district, the place rains have receded a bit, arrival of the brand new crop is on the rise. However its high quality is inferior. As quickly as farmers get respite of some days from the rainfall, they’re getting the kharif crop to the markets. Nevertheless, the rain broken crop can journey solely upto 100 km to 200 km limiting its gross sales inside Maharashtra.

“About, 80% of the present arrival at Ahmednagar market is of recent onion. Nevertheless, we can’t ship it exterior the state attributable to inferior high quality,” mentioned Nandu Shirke, chairman, Ahmednagar Onion Merchants’ Affiliation.

Presently, the best value is fetched by the saved onion of earlier yr’s rabi crop. Rabi onion has longer shelf life than the kharif onion and therefore instructions premium value.

onion infograph
Relating to wholesale and retail costs, the official talked about above mentioned that not less than in Delhi, the issue just isn’t of availability. “We now have extra onion accessible than what’s consumed by town in a day as a lot of the ongoing harvest from Rajasthan is coming to Delhi.”

Rejinder Sharma, normal secretary, Onion Merchants Affiliation of Azadapur APMC confirmed that there’s ample onion accessible available in the market. “The wholesale charges are additionally coming down day by day by about Rs 5/kg to Rs 10/kg attributable to rising arrivals from Rajasthan.”

What subsequent?
How lengthy the onion costs stay agency will rely upon when the rainfall stops and the extent of losses emerge. Shoppers should pay excessive value for higher high quality onions. “There can be wide selection of onion value because the rain broken new crop can be accessible cheaper, whereas the very best quality will fetch premium value,” mentioned Danish Shah, an onion exporter from Maharashtra.

The politically delicate nature of onion value rise noticed the central authorities eradicating the phytosanitary situation of fumigation of onions on the nation of supply for import of onions. Nevertheless, as home costs transfer downwards, importers have misplaced parity. Throughout final one month, merchants imported about 100 containers of onions; 90% of which got here from Egypt.

“With decline in home costs this week, there isn’t a import parity now,” mentioned Shah.

He expects that the wholesale costs of fine high quality onion will stay round Rs 40/kg until finish of November, after which, they may start to say no, settling at about Rs 30/kg by finish of December. For cheaper onions, customers should wait until the New 12 months, by when the shortage will transmogrify nto downside of a lot.