Household Budgets at Risk: Onion Shortage Leads to Price Surge After Hike in Tomato Rates 

Rozana Spokesman  | Amanat Thaper

News, Nation

The Asia's largest onion market, Lasalgaon Mandi in Maharashtra, indicate a significant loss of Stored Onions


NEW-DELHI: As the Nation Grapples with skyrocketing tomato prices, a new concern called onion crisis is arising here. The scarcity of onion supply in many major markets across the country has raised alarms among experts, who warn that, in the coming days, the prices of this essential kitchen staple could leave the common man in tears. This comes at a time when tomato prices have already surged, with rates reaching a staggering Rs 200 per kilogram in the national capital, Delhi.

While the scarcity of tomatoes might provide a temporary respite due to low stock, the situation for onions paints a more complex picture. The government reportedly holds a stockpile of approximately 2.5 lakh tonnes of onions, which can be released to stabilize the market when necessary. However, reports from key onion markets, such as Lasalgaon Mandi in Maharashtra, Asia's largest onion market, indicate a significant loss of stored onions. It is estimated that around half of the stored onions have already deteriorated, compounding the supply issue.

The Indian government has taken note of this critical situation and is actively monitoring the demand and supply of onions, as well as 22 other essential commodities nationwide. Officials have assured that there is no immediate cause for concern, given the substantial reserves at hand. The government has demonstrated its ability to enhance supply when needed, having previously imported onions during periods of crisis. It's worth noting that such imports haven't been necessary in the past two years.

While onion prices have maintained relative stability over the past four months, experts anticipate potential spikes in August and September. The next significant onion crop is projected to arrive in October. Presently, government data indicates that onion prices hover around Rs 25 per kilogram. However, market rates reveal that good quality onions are already being sold at Rs 30 per kilogram.

Significantly, Onions, like tomatoes, are a fundamental ingredient in a wide range of Indian dishes. The concern surrounding their shortage underscores the importance of maintaining stable supplies of these essential commodities to safeguard household budgets and ensure that families can access nutritious meals without undue financial strain.