Bhubaneswar: With the price of onion dropping marginally in the last two days, the Odisha government on Tuesday said that the situation will further improve in the next three weeks.
Informing the media, Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister Ranendra Pratap Swain said there has been an acute shortage of onion in the country due to unseasonal rain this year.
“The Nasik district of Maharashtra, which is the largest onion producer in the country, has an acute shortage of onion. The farmers of this district, who had an average onion production of three tonnes per acre, have harvested a meagre 15 quintals this year. To meet the requirement of their state, the farmers have stopped exporting onion to other states. As a result, the price of the essential vegetable has gone up not only in Odisha but also in other states. While Odisha used to import at least 50 trucks of onion every day, not a single truck from Nasik has arrived in the state till date,” Swain said.
The Minister, however, said that though newly-harvested crop has started to arrive in Odisha, the volume is negligible to regulate its price. “I can say that the people of my state will be able to purchase onion at a much less price as the volume of its export is expected to increase further in the next3-4 weeks,” he pointed out.
Stating that the daily requirement of onion in the country is about 12 lakh metric tonnes, Swain said the Centre is importing about one lakh metric tonne of onion from Egypt, which is like a drop in the ocean. “To meet the shortfall of onion, the Centre should encourage farmers and provide them with the incentive to take up the cultivation of onion,” he added.
He also admitted that the onion production in Odisha had gone down by 26 per cent this year.
Mentioned below is the price of onion a kg sold at different places in Odisha on Monday.
Puri (Rs 80), Cuttack (Rs 120), Bhubaneswar (Rs 120), Balasore (Rs 130), Khurda ((Rs 110-Rs 120), Baripada (Rs 120), Rayagada (Rs 100-Rs 110) and Jagatsinghpur (Rs 120).