While there was a similar crisis in 2017 as well, the situation was contained within a short period of time.

news Food Sunday, December 08, 2019 - 15:35

Price of onion shot up to a whopping Rs 200 per kg in Bengaluru due to severe short supply in the market, an official said here on Saturday.

"Onion price touched Rs 200 per kg in some retail shops of Bengaluru, after its wholesale rate ranged between Rs 5,500 and Rs 14,000 per quintal," state agricultural marketing officer Siddagangaiah told IANS.

As a result, the most common and staple vegetable was conspicuously missing from the menu in homes and restaurants across this tech hub.

According to Siddagangaiah, skyrocketing onion prices and the bulb's shortage is expected to last until mid-January.

India has an annual onion requirement of 150 lakh metric tonnes, with Karnataka chipping in with onion production of 20.19 lakh metric tonnes. Almost 50 per cent of the onion production gets lost after factoring in crop loss and post-harvest loss, leaving only the balance to arrive in the market.

Heavy rains during the harvest also led to the rotting of a good share of the onion production.

In November, Karnataka markets received 60-70 quintals of onion a day, which fell by 50 per cent in December, leading to the crisis.

Aiming to increase the availability of onion, the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) has issued a circular that onion trade should happen even on holidays.

"There is not much stock left with the wholesalers and retailers. Surprisingly, Karnataka does not have well defined onion storage facilities," Siddagangaiah said.

Meanwhile, Karnataka department of food and civil supplies is conducting raids to crack down on hoarders.

There have been reports of restaurans removing onion dosas from their menu as well. In some shops have started adding or replacing onions with cabbage in their samosas.” 

While there was a similar crisis in 2017 as well, the situation was contained within a short period of time.