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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Sep 2014

Onion prices in Mumbai touch Rs. 80, rise may continue

Prajakta Chavan Rane, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, October 23, 2013
First Published: 08:25 IST(23/10/2013) | Last Updated: 08:47 IST(23/10/2013)

Onion prices continued to soar on Tuesday, increasing to Rs70 to Rs80 a kg in the city’s retail markets.

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The wholesale onion rate touched Rs63 per kg, from Rs. 58-59 the previous day.

Worse still, the spurt in onion prices over the last few days is likely to continue, as the new crop that was expected to arrive in the market by the third week of October has failed owing to the extended monsoon.

The state has now ordered a field assessment of the crop. “I have ordered the assessment to ascertain the actual production loss and check for hoarding,” said state agriculture minister Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil.

The field assessment will cover all major onion producing regions in the state, including Pune, Nashik and Ahmednagar.

“The assessment will help us to determine extent of the damage caused to the crop in field and the effect it will have on supply. Our officials have assured that they will complete it in three to five days,” Patil said.

Even at biggest onion-market of India in Nasik division, Lasangaon, only 1,500 quintals of onion arrived, compared with the daily average of 25,00030,000 qunitals.

Poor cultivation of onions, coupled with the extended monsoon, has led to the instability in prices. On an average, the onion crop is cultivated on 34,000 hectares of land in the Nashik division, but this year, it was grown on 27,000 hectares, resulting in crop shortage, said Umakant Dangat, state agriculture commissioner.

APMC officials said the supply on Tuesday was poor.

Authorities are hoping the prices will fall post Diwali. “We hope the supply will improve by mid-November as the crop planted in July and August is expected to arrive after Diwali,” said Ashok Walunj, director, APMC onion- potato market.


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