The price of onions in India has soared as drought and floods have wreaked havoc, severely affecting the lives of ordinary people in India. But the onion crisis is expected to be resolved next month, with the spicy vegetable savoury to be on the market in large quantities next month. Jaydatta Sitaram Holkar, director of India’s Agricultural Market Ingstock Council, said onion prices could fall to around Rs 20-25 per kilogram from mid-January. That’s more than 80 percent below tuesday’s record high.
In some Indian cities, onion prices have tripled in the past month to Rs 200 per kilogram. For most Indian families, the price is already unbearable.
According to media reports, soaring onion prices have not only accelerated food inflation, but have even caused many social problems, such as theft and fighting.
As a large producer of more than 2m tonnes of onions a year, India’s onion production often exceeds demand. But now how can not even domestic demand guarantee?
Hussain, a senior fellow at the Indian Council for The Study of International Economic Relations, said heavy rains and floods this year had damaged stocks and rainy season crops in major growing areas.
“Ordinary people don’t understand bigger economic problems, ” says Ganguly, a professor of economics and a political analyst at Delhi University. But onion prices will make him think twice before trusting the government. Soaring onion prices could put the government in a quandary. “
In fact, the onion crisis is not bad for Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He is currently working to resolve the massive unrest caused by amendments to the Citizenship Act.
Modi’s government has tried to address the onion crisis by selling onions at subsidized prices in some states, halting onion exports, cracking down on hoarders and even planning to import onions from Turkey and Egypt. However, the imported onions will not enter the Indian market until January.
However, Finance Minister Hitaraman’s response to the onion crisis has been a shock. “I come from a family that doesn’t eat much onions,” she says. “In the eyes of many Indians, this means that the government is deaf to this issue and is not taking it seriously.
Worryingly, the onion crisis has severely affected the lives of ordinary people. In the southern city of Bangalore, only a handful of traders have been selling onions at farmers’ markets in recent days, in short supply.
Wali, manager of a new Delhi restaurant, says their chef has reduced the number of onions in their dishes, and “onions have become a rare gem in the kitchen”.