Sucheta Dalal :Onion prices to stay firm during festivals
Sucheta Dalal

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Onion prices to stay firm during festivals  

October 6, 2009


Onion prices at Lasalgaon near Nasik, the largest market in India for this commodity, have escalated by more than threefold due to damage of onion crop in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka following heavy rains.
According to Agmarknet, an agriculture market information network set up by the National Informatics Centre, onion of the famous Nasik variety was quoted at Rs1,650-Rs2,000 per quintal on Tuesday. Only last week the commodity was sold at just Rs438 per quintal at Lasalgaon market.
Today, onion was quoted at an average price of Rs1,380 per quintal at the Lasalgaon market in Maharashtra. Onion was priced between Rs1,250 to Rs1,500 per quintal at Vashi's APMC, the main agricultural market for Mumbai.
According to market sources, onion prices would stay high till December, following the damage to the crop due to heavy rains at many places, including Maharashtra. Onion prices in the wholesale market at Lasalgaon would remain above Rs1,000 per quintal and prices would correct only after the arrival of new crop by end-November, said a trader from Lasalgaon.   
In our country onion crises—where food prices and especially onion prices rise significantly due to, for instance, poor harvests—have had been a frequent and contentious political topic. Many elections in India have been won and lost due to higher prices of this essential commodity.
With ongoing Assembly elections in Maharashtra and Haryana, it would be interesting to watch whether the politicos would manage to control onion prices or not. -Yogesh Sapkale with Aditya Kshirsagar [email protected]

-- Sucheta Dalal