The spike in the onion prices is a temporary phenomena and the situation will improve with the arrival of new crop from next month, Shobhana K Pattanayak, Secretary, Union Ministry of Agriculture said on Monday.
The top official said that there was sufficient supply of onion to meet the domestic demand till next month and the government was closely monitoring wholesale and retail prices of the bulb. Retail prices of onion ruled in the range of Rs 32-40/kg in metros on Monday, as per the official data.
“In some wholesale markets, prices are in the range of Rs 20-22/kg. We are closely monitoring the prices. I don’t think this (price rise) will remain for long. It is a temporary phenomena. Prices will see correction,” Pattanayak said while speaking to reporters in New Delhi.
He further said that early kharif onion, which should have come from Karnataka at this time, has not hit mandis yet as the crop have been affected due to poor rains.
However, the secretary expressed confidence that the supply would improve from next month when the crop from states like Andhra Pradesh will start arriving at the mandis.
Already, early sown kharif onion is being harvested in some states, specially Andhra Pradesh. This will improve supplies and cool down prices in coming days. The availability of some local onion in Rajasthan will also improve the supply, he said.
Early kharif onion from Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh is being sold in Odisha and West Bengal at present in view of spike in rates in Nasik and Lasalgoan in Maharasthra, the country’s leading producer of the bulb crop, he added.
The secretary also said that fall in kharif output was unlikely except in some states like Karnataka where production had been hit due to poor rains. Otherwise, the onion crop in most of the states was in good condition, he said.
Last week, Nasik-based National Horticultural Research and Development Foundation (NHRDF) Director PK Gupta had indicated that there would be 30-40 per cent fall in acreage of kharif onion this year due to poor rains in some growing states.
About 30-40 per cent of the country’s total production comes from the kharif season and the rest from the rabi season.