Surge in prices of onions, potatoes likely to hit Bengali kitchens hard

Kolkata: Consumers will continue to feel a pinch in their pockets as vendors are apprehending a further hike in the price of onions and potatoes due to incessant rains and flood-like situations in South India.

It was only last month when onion, one of the prime ingredients in the kitchen, was priced between Rs 55 and 60 per kg. Today, the retail price of one kg of onion has shot up to Rs 72 (red onion) and Rs 70 (regular onion). Depending upon the quality, onion prices vary in the market.

"There is short supply of onions in the market after Diwali. Due to heavy rain in South India, 95 percent of the onions in the field have been destroyed. Maharashtra, the biggest supplier of onions in the country, has also been affected due to heavy rain. That is why the price of onion has shot up across India. Only 10 percent of onion stock is available with the suppliers," said Bishal, an onion merchant at Sealdah's Koley Market.

The retailers buy the onion sacks as per their requirement from the wholesalers and sell it to the customers.

"We are buying half of the required quantity. The sale of onions has decreased. Buyers who earlier used to buy

one kilogram of onions are

now buying 500 grams due to the skyrocketing price,"

said Suresh Patel, a vegetable seller.

It may be mentioned that Lasalgaon mandi in Nashik, Asia's largest market yard for the bulb, supplies onions round the year to Bengal.

"The cost of potatoes has been increasing due to closure of cold storages from Durga Puja to Diwali. The cost of one kg of potatoes was Rs 12 last week. At present, the cost of one kg of potatoes is Rs 20. The price of potatoes is expected to decrease after fresh stock of potatoes hit the market in December," said Md Akhtar, a vegetable seller.

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