The Kerala Minister for Agriculture announced the state’s plan to source onions from NAFED, which will drastically reduce the market price of the vegetable.

Man sitting beside heap of onionsImage for representation
news Agriculture Thursday, October 22, 2020 - 16:09

The Kerala government has decided to intervene in the steep rise in onion prices that has occurred over the past few days. On Thursday, the Minister for Agriculture VS Sunil Kumar told media that the state will source onions from the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED), and will sell them to the public at half the present market price. This will reduce the onion prices by up to Rs 50 per kg, he said.

Onion prices in the state have been witnessing a continuous hike in the last few days. The price of small onions has touched Rs 100 per kilo, and the price of large onions stands at Rs 90 per kilo. Other south Indian states are also witnessing a similar trend, with hikes in prices of other vegetables too.

“A hundred tonnes of onion will be sourced from NAFED this month. As part of this, the onion can be sold for half the market price,” said Sunil Kumar.

Meanwhile, vegetable dealers in Kochi told TNM that the price of onions reduced by Rs 10 on Thursday morning. “The supply was very less in the past days, but today, more load has come and the reduction might be due to that,” said a vegetable dealer in Ernakulam market.

The state government is, however, anticipating the prices of vegetables to increase in the coming days. “The hike in onion prices is due to the market fluctuations in north Indian states,” said Sunil Kumar.

Watch video of Minister's press meet

He also said that the state government will intervene through the Kerala State Horticultural Products Development Corporation (Horticorp) to stabilise the market price of vegetables. “Usually during festive seasons, Horticorp procures vegetables from farmers at 10% higher price and sells it for 30% less than the market price. This will be implemented if the price of the vegetables continues to hike,” said the Minister.

He also cued that the recent amendment of the Essential Commodities Act is another reason for the present price hike. “When private firms are granted permits to store the procured products through this, then it will definitely pave way to increase the prices more,” he said.

Read: Explained: What the law removing onions, rice from essential commodities means for you

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