The state agriculture marketing department is going to sell onion at Rs.45 per kilogram from its counters before Durga Puja.
Arup Roy, state agriculture minister, said that the state government has been able to get around 1 lakh metric ton onion from the Centre. The Centre is going to import around 20 lakh metric ton onions from Egypt, China and Pakistan in view of the ongoing crisis. Two ships containing large consignments of onions will reach Mumbai port tomorrow from China and Egypt.
Onion, which was sold at Rs.20 per kilogram has suddenly become costlier in the last few weeks in the city and other districts. The vegatble is already being sold for Rs.60-70 per kilogram in many parts of the state. However, the onion crisis is prevailing in several states of India, not just Bengal. In several wholesale markets of Kolkata and surrounding areas of the city, the price of onion has already touched Rs.6000 per quintal.
A senior official of the state agriculture marketing department said that there was a fall in supply of onion as harvesting has been delayed in Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. He further said that deficient rainfall could lower Kharif output in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh Rs the three major onion growing states in India.
“We have a demand of around 8 lakh metric ton onion per year for West Bengal. The state has produced below 4 lakh metric ton following the floods. We have to find out ways to source onion from other sources,” the official sources said.
The state agriculture and marketing department has already opened several counters for selling onions at Rs.50 per kilogram. “Around 49 counters will be opened to sell onions by state agriculture and marketing department,” the official said.A senior official of the food processing and horticulture department said the onion cultivation project has been started in three district including Bankura and Purulia and West Midnapore, which is expected to help augment the onion supply in the state. More than 2000 bighas of land has been identified for onion cultivation.
'The state government has got 1 lakh metric ton onion from Centre.'