The Indian Express speaks to Shameem, 52, an onion seller in Ballia
What is the price of onions today?
I bought onions at Rs 85 per kg from the mandi. I am selling them at Rs 90 per kg to my customers.
The Ballia MP has claimed that onions are being sold at Rs 25 per kg here….
Not that I know of. Par unhone bola hai toh kuch soch samajh ke bola hoga (But if the MP has said it, he must have said it after giving it some thought).
Why are onions so expensive now?
Most of the onions are produced in Nashik and because of the floods there, the produce has got spoilt. The supply has stopped and so the prices have increased. I don’t think the government can do anything about it. It is not like they can produce onions using a machine.
Are people buying less?
Very less. Earlier, I used to sell at least five sacks of onions weighing 50-55 kg a day. Now, I barely manage to sell a sack a day.
Do you think people are not eating onions because of the high price?
Yes, the poor can’t afford it, so they are not eating onions at all. How can a daily wager who makes Rs 200 per day buy onions at Rs 100 per kg? Even the rich are only buying 250 gm at a time. Today, a bank manager came and bought only 250 gm onion from me. He used to buy at least a kilogram earlier. He said that his family is avoiding dishes that require onions.
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