By the first week of February, fresh onion harvest from within India will hit the Delhi market, adding to the 400 tonnes imported from Pakistan that has already reached, said union minister for food and consumer affairs, Prof K V Thomas.
“Onion prices are expected to return to the range of pre-crisis market by then,” Thomas, who has been given independent charge of the ministry in last week’s reshuffle, said.
Currently onions are selling at Mother Dairy outlets at R 34, down from the peak of R65 on December 25, 2009. Mid-December it has been selling between R 23 and R 25.
India will get 1,000 tonnes of the tuber crop from Pakistan. The import and the expected harvest will soften the prices, the minister said. “The panic buying has stopped and hoarders have released stocks,” Thomas said.
The centre has convened four zonal conferences to coordinate efforts of the states to rein in prices. It will start with Thiruvanthapuram on February 3 , followed by Kolkata, Mumbai and Delhi.