Wholesale onion prices in Lasalgaon- the country's biggest wholesale market for the bulb have firmed up with rain eluding the state thereby affecting the early Kharif and late Kharif crop.
Wholesale onion prices in Lasalgaon- the country’s biggest wholesale market for the bulb have firmed up with rain eluding the state thereby affecting the early Kharif and late Kharif crop.
With the summer stocks depleting and new onion crop arrivals delayed the wholesale onion prices are likely to cross Rs 2,500 per quintal in the festive season, industry experts pointed out.
Wholesale onion prices are currently ruling at Rs 1,800 per quintal at Lasalgaon on Tuesday with barely 5,000 quintals arriving in the market.
On Monday, modal prices were `1,851 per quintal with 11,568 quintals arriving in the market. The arrival of the new crop in the markets is likely to be delayed by nearly two months after rains played truant in the state and farmers in Nandgaon, Chandwad, Sinnar, Baijapur, Yeola among other areas in Nashik district – the main onion belt of Maharashtra are looking fields going dry.
According to senior horticulture officials in Pune, the Kharif planting in the state usually touches 1.5 lakh hectares and Nashik division accounts for 70% of this planting. The official cited the example of his own farm where he had planted onions on one acre at the start of the monsoon and the crop that was to be harvested during this period has shrivelled due to lack of rain. The IMD forecast has gone wrong and farmers who had planted onion on hopes of getting a good price are now staring at losses, he said.
Atmaram Kumbharde, chairman, Chandwad APMC revealed that nearly 80% of the crop has dried up and this has led to hike in prices.
“At present, the summer onions are arrving in the market and their shelf life of six months is nearly getting over. Since onion planting in Nashik had nearly doubled this Kharif in anticipation of good prices, farmers had begun disposing off their stocks when wholesale modal prices had touched `700 per quintal. Had the rains arrived in time, the new crop would have hit the markets in October and they would have been saddled with rotting onions and therefore have disposed more than 60% of their stocks. Moreover traders have also realised that the new onion arrivals will get delayed and they would have to do with the existing stocks and therefore prices are rising and are expected to rise more,” he said.