Inadequate rain during the last monsoon continues to affect vegetable prices in city. Onion prices have shot up in the wholesale and retail markets following reduction in supply, say traders.
Onions, which were selling for Rs14 per kilogram in the wholesale market two weeks ago, are now priced between Rs.18 and Rs. 20 per kg. In the retail market, the price has risen from Rs. 20 to Rs. 25 per kg.
“We received fewer loads of onions from Nashik last week and the stocks are getting exhausted. This has led to shortage, and the consequent price hike,” said Ashok Karpe, wholesale trader at the Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) in Vashi. “The rainfall was inadequate in onion-producing areas of Nashik, Pune, Ahmednagar etc., adversely affecting productivity. Very few villages received good rainfall.”
“The prices will remain high in February. We will then have new arrivals from Pune which will help increase the supply and bring down the prices. As of now, nothing can be done to improve the situation,” Karpe said.
Retailers say they have no option but to increase the prices in tandem with wholesale markets. “When we buy a bag of 10 kg, at least 1 kg comprises rotten onions, which again pushes the price up,” said Rajesh Gupta, a vegetable vendor from sector 9, Vashi.
“The cheaper onions priced at Rs25 are the wet ones which do not last beyond a couple of days. The good quality ones sold at Rs25 last for over a week,” he said.
Consumers say the government needs to take measures to control price hike. “How are we supposed to afford basic necessities? The costs of other vegetables too have gone up. How does the government expect the common man to survive?” asked Santabai, a housewife.