Himansu Shekhar Rout

Prices of onion are once again on an upward trajectory in Odisha, bringing tears to consumers. Prices that ranged from Rs 30 to Rs 35 a kg a week ago, have now shot up to anything between Rs 60 and Rs 65. 

As onions are an essential ingredient in kitchens, most people are forced to buy them despite the price rise, reports said.

A woman consumer at Unit-I Market, Bhubaneswar, said, "As the price is rising, we are facing problems. In such a situation, we have to compromise with quantity. We were buying a kg. Now we are buying half that amount.”  
Another consumer Tapan Jena said, “At such high rates, poor people like us can't afford onions." 

However, Papu Biswal, one of the retail traders in Bhubaneswar, said, “Three days ago, onion prices were Rs 30 to Rs 40. Now we are buying a kg of onion for Rs 55 and selling it at Rs 60.”

Shakti Shankar Mishra of Kuberpur Traders’ Association said that the price rise of onions in Odisha is directly linked to the price rise in Andhra Pradesh and Nasik from where onions are supplied to Odisha. 

Sudhakar Panda, general secretary of the  Odisha Byabasayee Mahasangha, said that the price rise is due to hoarding of the vegetables by some corporate houses. “The day corporate houses enter the retail market, prices of various commodities skyrocket exponentially overnight. By raising prices, they are exploiting the consumers.” 

However, Debendra Sahu, a trader of Chhatra Bazaar in Cuttack said, "Odisha traders get onion supplies from Nasik and from the south. Sufficient onions are not available in Tamil Nadu and other parts while new crops in Nasik will take time. We have to wait at least a month for new stock of onions to arrive.”