Prices of three key vegetables such as Onion, Tomato and Potato have been shooting up in the festival season and stoill unstopable. But good news is that the Centre on Sunday said that the onion prices have been stabilized with the release of buffer stock, while efforts are being made to soften prices of other essential commodities like tomato and potato.
The official statement said that the Onion stocks are being released into the market in a calibrated manner on a first-in-first-out basis beginning in the last week of August in an effort to moderate prices and ensure minimal storage loss.
As a result, the retail onion price in metros on October 14 was in the range of ₹ 42-57 per kg. On October 14, the all-India average retail price of onion was ₹ 37.06 per kg, while the average wholesale rate was ₹ 30 per kg.
On the day of October 14, onion price in port city of Chennai was at ₹ 42 per kg, ₹ 45 per kg in business hub Mumbai, ₹ 44 per kg in capital city of Delhi, and ₹ 57 per kg in city of joy Kolkata. The food and consumer affairs ministry said in a statement that buffer stock of onion is being released in states where prices are higher than the all-India average and where the prices are rising over the previous month.
‘Total of 67,357 tonnes have been released till October 12, in major markets such as Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Patna, Kochi, and Raipur, Ranchi, Guwahati, Bhubaneshwar,’ it said.
Further, it stated that onions stocks that are below the fair average quality- FAQ (Grade-B) are disposed of in local markets of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Gujarat. In addition to releasing onions into the market, the government has offered onions from the buffer stock to all States and Union Territories (UT) at ₹ 21 per kg for removal from storage locations.
This will allow states to engage in market interventions on their own, either through direct supply to retail consumers through retail outlets or through price reductions in key markets.
The ministry also mentioned that the stocked Onion are also available for supply to central and state agencies engaded in retail marketing at an ex-storage rate of ₹ 21 per kg or landed price after transportation costs.
SAFAL the retail network of fruits and vegetables of Mother Dairy, a subsidiary of the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) has been offered at a landed price of ₹ 26 per kg. With the goal of effective market intervention to moderate prices, the government maintains an onion buffer under the price stabilization fund (PSF).
‘Comparable efforts are being made to soften potato and tomato rates,’ the ministry stated. Tomatoes were selling for an average of ₹ 41.73 per kg in India, while potatoes were selling for ₹ 21.22 per kg. In the wholesale markets, potato prices were prevailing at ₹ 1,606.46 per quintal, while tomato prices were presiding at ₹ 3,361.74 per quintal.
The retail prices of potatoes and tomatoes in Delhi were ₹ 20 per kg and ₹ 56 per kg, respectively, according to the ministry’s comment.