A glut of onion has it selling for as little as 20 paise a kilo at the wholesale market of Madhya Pradesh’s Neemuch district.
The surplus is bad news for farmers, many of whom have been also abandoning sacks of bulb at the market after failing to get buyers. The price crash is in stark contrast to the extremely high onion prices that make headlines the far-reaching impact.
Onion is a key ingredient to most Indian food preparations and its pricing has not only affected country’s inflation but also its politics. High onion prices have been regarded as having contributed to the defeat of the BJP in state elections in Delhi in 1998 and giving the Congress government jitters in 2010.
Neemuch has the biggest mandi in the region from where farmers of adjoining MP districts come to sell their produce.
The price was around Rs 20 per kg a month back, but it started falling and around 10 days ago it was hovering around Rs 10 per kg.
“The opening bids for onion started between Rs 5 and Rs 6 per kg (for the best quality), but soon the price started falling and in the latter part of the day, it was selling at 20 to 30 paise per kg,” he said. Farmer Dayaram Patidar from Diken said that he expected to get around Rs 20 to Rs 30 per kg when he had planted the crop but the price was now not enough for him to recover his input and transport costs. “I am going back and keeping the onion in the mandi for the cows to eat,” he said.