AFTER a brief period of stability, onion prices have started rising again as farmers have reported extensive damage to their almost-ready kharif crop due to the heavy rain which lashed parts of the state last fortnight. On Friday, the average traded price of onion at Lasalgaon wholesale market in Nashik district’s Niphad taluka was Rs 4,351 per quintal.
Districts in the Nashik division — Dhule, Jalgaon, Nandurbar and Ahmednagar — have reported crop damage in over 16.69 lakh hectares, including swathes of onion fields. Onions in kharif season, which usually arrive after Diwali, were either being harvested or were ready to be harvested when rain started battering the state. “The harvested crop has been damaged while the late transplanted crop, which was to be harvested in another fortnight or so, has also been damaged,” said a trader.
The current price rise is likely to continue as overall availability of the produce has been hit.
Other than onions, the prices of other kharif crops damaged by the rain, including soyabean, pulses and maize among others, have also started rising. The price of urad (black gram) has seen a 66 per cent increase in the last few days and at Latur’s wholesale market — one of the biggest market of pulses in the country — urad is trading at around Rs 7,600 per quintal.
Growers in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan have also reported crop damage, said Latur-based daal miller and trader Nitin Kalantari. “Arrivals have come down, triggering the price hike,” he said.
Pulses like moong have also seen a price rise, and prices of daals even in the retail markets in Pune and Latur are increasing. Urad daal prices have increased by Rs 40 per kg and its wholesale price currently is around Rs 110 per kg. Similarly, moong daal is now costlier by Rs 10 per kg, with the daal retailing at Rs 90-95 per kg.