Prices of onions and tomatoes across Maharashtra fails to cool off

Mumbai: The prices of onions and tomatoes tend to fall in winters as new crops hit the market, but this year it has been different. Not only the prices have failed to cool off, they have in fact risen sharply. And the reasons for rise in prices are crop damage and supply disruptions in the major growing areas of Maharashtra and Karnataka, market participants said.

In the first half of November, the average retail price of onion and tomatoes surged 23% and 28% on month, respectively. “Wholesale prices (of tomatoes) in Nashik have nearly doubled from 15-20 rupees per kg a month ago to 35-40 rupees currently,” said Mazhar Patel, a Nashik-based trader. This has lifted the retail price to around 60 rupees per kg in Nashik, one of the key district for tomato production in the country.

In Pimpalgaon, a major vegetable market in Nashik, arrivals have plummeted to around 200 tn, from 4,000 tn a month ago, Patel told Cogencis. Prices of onion in Lasalgaon, India’s biggest wholesale market for the vegetable, have risen to 35 rupees per kg from 23 rupees a month ago, said Manoj Jain, a local trader.

Heavy rains in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh in the first three weeks of October have damaged and disrupted the supply of onions, leading to a surge in prices. The early variety of onion harvest has been delayed by over a month in Maharashtra leading to the price rise.

“In Nashik, the early variety of onion is usually harvested around Oct 15. However, this year the crop will make way to the markets in the next 15-20 days,” said Nanasaheb Patil, office bearer of the Agricultural Produce Market Committee, Lasalgaon. In Lasalgaon, arrivals have declined by half from a month ago. Daily arrivals were at 780-990 tn, against 2,000-2,100 tn last month, according to data from National Horticulture Research and Development Federation.

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