With Heavy rainfall since August-end leaving market-ready crops extensively damaged, affecting arrival and quality of the produce, prices of onion and tomatoes have gone up steadily across the country.
Data from the Ministry of Food, Public Distribution and Consumer Affairs show that retail prices of onion and tomatoes have increased significantly in the last one month. Onion prices in Delhi have gone up from Rs 33/kg in September to Rs 47/kg.
The price escalation has been steeper in the case of tomatoes, with Delhi markets now retailing it at Rs 59/kg, compared to Rs 28/kg a month ago. At some other places, onion prices have touched or crossed Rs 50/kg, while tomato prices are nearing Rs 60/kg.
Farmers had earlier reported damage to stocked produce, harvested in April-May. The overall availability of onions had started dipping since September-end.
At Lasalgaon’s wholesale market in Maharashtra’s Nashik district, the average traded price of onion is rising since the third week of September. The prices, which for most part of the year were around Rs 1,500-Rs 1,600/quintal, have breached Rs 3,300/quintal.
Suresh Deshmukh, a commission agent in Nashik’s Dindori taluk, said new arrivals were of poor quality. “Such onions don’t have much market value. The only tradable onion now is stored onion, which farmers are offloading,” he said.
In the case of tomatoes, the average traded price at Karnataka’s Kolar market has been over Rs 3,000-Rs 3,500/quintal. Traders in Kolar pointed out that September rains had caused damage to the crop in the area.
“The present trend is expected to continue till December-end. Prices are also going to increase as demand increases after Covid-19 restrictions ease out,” said Deshmukh.