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Saswat Singhdeo

Bhubaneswar: As onion price inches towards hitting Rs 200-a-kilo mark in Odisha, State Food and Supplies Minister Ranendra Pratap Swain on Saturday termed the situation as a 'national crisis'.

Blaming the rate of production and import for the rising price of the vegetable, the Minister said, “At a time while the country needs 12 lakh metric tonnes onions daily, it is importing only 1 lakh metric tonnes from Egypt. In Nasik, where 1 acre land is used to produce 3 tonnes of onions earlier, the output has now come down to 10 quintals per acre."

Meanwhile, as price of onions continues its upward trend rising Rs 20 to Rs 30 per kilo every day, the situation has led to a drastic reduction in the use of the vegetable not only in households but also in commercial purposes.

“Onion is a necessary ingredient for different items but due to high price we are being forced to use other vegetables as replacement,” said, Santosini Swain, a housewife in Bolangir.

Among the worst hit include caterers who are facing difficulty in getting orders in the current wedding season due to high onion price.

“Due to high price of onions, people are cancelling their orders. It is a difficult time for us,” said Mukesh Gowaani, a member of Catering Owners’ Association in Bolangir.

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