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Saswat Singhdeo

Bhubaneswar: Onion price crisis seemed to have turned worse across Odisha with reports showing sale of the vegetable at a record high of Rs 100 per kilogram, have come to the fore from several parts of the State today.

After hovering around Rs 50 to 60 per kg for quite some time, onion prices skyrocketed to Rs 80 in last few days and subsequently hit as high as Rs 100 per kg today.

Sources said the best onions are being sold for Rs 100 per kg while the ones with low quality are being sold for Rs 80 to Rs 90 per kg. The situation has turned so bad that people are even trying to cut down on their onion consumption.

Warehouses which used to store huge amount of onions are now wearing looks of acute paucity. The price crisis of this vegetable has now not only hit the general consumers but also affected hotel and tourism sector.

“A feast is being organised at my house. There were plans to use onions and garlic in the food but I decided to refrain from using onions due to extremely high price. I am 72 years old and in my life I have never witnessed such a crisis,” said Murali Mohan Acharya, a Berhampur resident.

In Khallikote area of Ganjam, hotels serving meals have started to replace onions with cucumber and raddish. Not only the Twin Cities, but in Bolangir, where the largest chunk of onions in the State are produced is facing the brunt of the price rise.

Farmers of Titlagarh and Kantabanji areas are shocked over the sky rocketing prices of onion as a few months back they were forced to go for distress sale at the rate of Rs 4 per kilo.

“Had there been cold storages in our area, we would have been able to store our produce and sell it in a good price, but now even we are forced to buy onions for Rs 80 per kilo,” said a farmer.

Experts and traders have said that the price crisis of onions will continue to hit the market due to extensive damage to crops following inclement weather in Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh upon which Odisha is largely dependent for its onion procurement.

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