The onion which has given Mumbai more grief this season than all the other vegetables put together is likely to enter the city in multiple truckloads post Diwali, finally making it ‘affordable’. A 50 per cent increase in the number of trucks entering the market is expected post Diwali, Ashok Walunj, director of the onion-potato market at Agricultural Produce and Marketing Committee (APMC) in Vashi told SUNDAY MiD DAY.
At present, around 55 trucks and tempos enter the market every day. This number is likely to go up to 80, post-Diwali, says Walunj, thus bringing down the price. The cost of onions in the past few days have soared past the R80 mark, bringing tears to eyes of consumers and vendors alike. Many traders claim retailers or middlemen, who come to the market to purchase the commodity, have been buying only half their usual order.
“Obviously, this is because the consumer, too, is buying less onions on account of the high rate. A retailer who would take around 20 kilos from us earlier is taking just 10 kilos. Besides, the old crop is on the verge of getting over and the new crop, which is coming in, has a very short shelf life. We fear a graver situation just before Diwali, before the new supplies finally start post Diwali,” said Machinder Gadekar, a trader from the onion potato market in APMC.
He further added, “Presently, only 30 per cent of good quality onions are arriving at the market. The rest is either of low quality or rotten.” Walunj, however, has a different take. “Till the time water in the fields does not dry up completely, farmers cannot remove the crop. Besides, only after procuring and sorting the onions, which again would take a few days, can they be sent to the wholesale markets. However after Diwali, prices will stabilise,” he said.