AS THE price of onions witnessed a steep hike in retail markets across the city this week, traders attributed it to a shortage of supply of the vegetable to the Pune Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC). In one week, the prices have risen from Rs 20 per kilogram to Rs 38 and 40. As per the traders, the price of the commodity is expected to remain high for at least a month, as the supply to the market has dried up. This, the traders said, was because the ongoing showers were creating issues in harvest of the kharif crops.
Vilas Bhujbal, a trader at Market Yard, said, “The markets should have received kharif crops by now but because of the ongoing showers there’s difficulty in harvesting the crops. The stocks from Rabi crops have already dried up. Hence, the supply to the market is going down with every passing day.” He added that the price of onions in wholesale market at Pune APMC range from Rs 2,000 to 2,200 per quintal this week. “If this continues, the retail rates may even touch Rs 50 by the end of this month,” he said.
Traders said the shortage of supply was likely to continue till the first month of the next year. “Damage of the onion crop is not restricted to Maharashtra, a similar situation is prevailing in neighbouring Karnataka,” they added. Changdeo Holkar, former director of the National Agriculture Marketing co-operative Federation, said, “In some of the districts, as much as 60 per cent crop has been damaged due to untimely rainfall. Farmers whose crops survived may get a great return this time. That is, if the government doesn’t intervene.”