Onion may make eyes teary again

Continued shutdown of Asia's biggest market to push prices

The process of auction of onions at Lasalgaon, the biggest onion market of Asia, remains halted since Tuesday, creating a crisis of sorts.

In case the issue is not sorted out by the weekend, it could affect the retail prices. Lasalgaon, located in Nashik district, is around 225 km away from Mumbai and onions from here are supplied all over India and also exported.

Members of the Lasalgaon Traders’ Association (LTA) had halted the auction process to protest against a non-member trader participating in the auctions.

Newly elected Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Eknath Shinde took a serious note of the developments. “The government must step in to resolve the crisis,” Shinde said, adding that Cooperation and Marketing Minister Chandrakant Patil must intervene.

“The syndicate of some traders and monopolistic practices could not be tolerated,” the Shiv Sena leader said.

As of now, the retail prices have not soared, but if the problem continues, it would have a major effect.

“The hailstorms earlier this year had affected the crop and now comes this problem,” said an onion trader.

“We hope that the problem would be sorted out soon,” said Giridhar Patil, a farmer-activist.

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