A combination of a bumper crop and lower exports has caused unrest among onion farmers, who are now threatening to stop selling their produce if the average traded price in wholesale markets is not hiked to Rs 2,000 per 100 kgs. Traders and market sources have, however, said that such a strong rally is not possible in the near future even as they did not rule out price correction in case the kharif crop sees heavy rainfall during the harvest period.
This year, onion growers from Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan have increased their acreage with growers from Maharashtra reporting highest-ever acreage, of 945,000 hectares of the area under the bulb. India’s production stood at 311,000 tons – a significant jump from last season’s 266,410 tons.
A major part of the production was from the rabi or summer crop, which farmers harvest during March-April. Officially, Maharashtra alone accounts for over 33 per cent of the total production in the country with farmers in the state reporting 3.5-4.0 mln tons of storage. Farmers offload the stored crop till the kharif crop is harvested late September or October.