Onion price shoots up, brings tears to consumers

Import of onion from Egypt has not helped reduce the rise in the price of the vegetable.

The rate of onion is proving a problem for consumers in Mangaluru, with a kilogram of onion now priced at a whopping Rs 100 to Rs 105 in the market.

Onion had been selling at Rs 70-80 a kg over the past few weeks. Although onion is imported from Egypt, it has not helped in checking the rise in price.

If the prices continue to rise, hotels are likely to stop preparing dishes using onion as base. The price of onion has been increasing steadily over the past few weeks. There is a shortage of supply of onion that is supplied to the markets in Mangaluru.

According to merchants, heavy rain in onion and vegetable-growing areas has affected the crop.

The onion cultivated in large scale in North Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarath, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar had been damaged. The shortage triggered a surge in prices of onion.

In Udupi area, large size onion is sold wholesale between Rs 75 and 80 per kg. But when it reaches the customers, it is sold between Rs 96 and Rs 100 per kg. The medium size onion costs Rs 90 per kg.

“The price of onion has not shot up to such a level in the recent years,” said merchant Janardhan Salian and added that Mangaluru gets its onion from Punjab, Pune and Shivamogga.

Along with onion, the price of drumstick has increased. It is sold at Rs 260 per kg, said vegetable vendor Salim.

“The Centre has already banned the export on onion in order to check the increase in price. Yet, the rise in prices continues,” merchants said.

“Owing to an increase in the price of onion, I have cut down the use of onions by half,” confesses Rekha, who is a housewife.

Jyothi, a working woman, lamented, “The quality of onions in the market is poor and we cannot keep it for long. The traditional vegetarian cuisines in coastal areas are prepared using few onions. As a result, we have to go back to the traditional dish like ‘pundi’ instead of pulav and other varieties made of rice.”

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