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Onion prices are crying all over the world, selling at throwaway prices in India! It was difficult to extract the cost

Pankaj Prasad
Onion prices
Onion prices

Onion prices are falling rapidly even before the arrival of Rabi season in India.

Onion is making both the eater and the farmer cry these days. While the eaters are troubled by the high prices, the growers are shedding tears for not getting the fair price. Onion prices are on the seventh sky in the global markets. Onion prices are very sharp in Philippines, Pakistan, USA, Taiwan, Japan, Canada, Singapore. Whereas in India its situation seems to be completely opposite. Farmers in India are being forced to sell onions at throwaway prices.

Global onion prices have increased due to various factors like natural calamity, global food crisis, Russia-Ukraine war. Onion crop has been affected due to floods in Pakistan, drought in European countries, due to which its price has shot up. The Netherlands, the biggest exporter of onions, has also been affected by the drought. Whereas in onion-growing Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the crop has been ruined due to frost. Apart from this, the price of onions has been affected due to the Ukraine war. All these factors have affected onion prices in the global markets.

Many countries are troubled by the high price of onions, while in India onions are being sold at throwaway prices. Onion prices are falling rapidly even before the arrival of Rabi season in India. The share of Rabi season in total onion production is considered to be 60 to 65 per cent. At this time, most of the onions of late Kharif season are arriving in the mandis. Onion prices may fall further due to the arrival of Rabi season onions from the month of March-April. Because this year also there is a possibility of bumper yield of onion in the country. This sharp decline at the beginning of the season has increased the difficulties of the farmers. It has become difficult for them to recover the cost of the crop.

Onion prices are less than half as compared to last year, this is the condition of mandisย ย 

Onion prices are falling rapidly in mandis across the country. Onion prices have come down from Rs 300-1,500 to Rs 300-1,050 a quintal in Pimpalgaon, the main producing state of Maharashtra. The model price of onion has come down from Rs 1,150 to Rs 590 a quintal. More than 80 per cent of the sales come from the model price itself. A year ago, onions were being sold at Rs 400 to Rs 2,450 a kg in the Pimpalgaon mandi of Maharashtra.

In Delhi's Azadpur mandi, onion prices have come down from Rs 500-1,875 to Rs 500-1,500, while its modal price has come down from Rs 1,350 to Rs 1,090 a quintal. In Azadpur mandi, onion prices have come down from Rs 1,250-3,250 to Rs 500-1,500 a quintal in a year.

The arrival of Rabi season onions will increase in the market in March-April. In such a situation, onion prices may fall further. Due to which the problems of the onion farmers who had suffered losses last year will also increase further. Onion yield has increased by 20 to 25 percent in the late Kharif season. Bumper yield of onion is expected in Rabi season as well.ย ย 

According to the Union Consumer Affairs Ministry, the average retail price of onion across the country at present is Rs 22.66 a kg, which is about 35 per cent lower than last year's average retail price of Rs 34.99. The average retail price of onion has declined by about 16 per cent in the month of February. This month the retail price has come down from Rs 30 to Rs 27 in Delhi and from Rs 31 to Rs 26 in Mumbai. A year ago, onion was being sold at Rs 38 per kg in Delhi's retail market and Rs 40 per kg in Mumbai.

So far in this financial year, 15.19 lakh tonnes of onions have been exported. While 15.38 lakh tonnes of onions were exported last year. India exports 10 to 15 per cent of its onion production. Maharashtra, Karnataka and Gujarat produce the most onions. Maharashtra's onions are sold on a large scale in Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, but this time there has been a good crop of onions in all these states, due to which onion prices are falling. Last year, about 317 lakh tonnes of record onions were produced in the country.

Onion prices are continuously falling, that's why farmers are worried

In many states of India, farmers are forced to sell onions for one to two rupees per kg. The price of onion is being sold at Rs 8-10 per kg in Delhi's Azadpur Mandi. Farmers are not getting fair price for onions. Due to the continuous fall in the prices of onions, the difficulties of the farmers have increased as they are not able to recover their cost of production. The shopkeepers of Azadpur Mandi onion business say that even before the arrival of Rabi season, the falling prices of onions have increased the problems of the farmers. Onion prices have fallen so much under the pressure of the arrival of late Kharif season that the farmers are not able to recover the cost. Farmers are getting Rs 3 to 10 per kg in the mandi, while the cost of production itself is more than Rs 10 per kg.