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Jan 10, 2011 at 09:50pm IST

Traders make profit over rising onion prices

Nashik: Onion prices continue to haunt the government and the consumers. At Rs 60-70 per kilo, the vegetable spelling tears for the consumers and surprisingly even the farmer who produces them is having tough time.

A CNN-IBN ground report exposes how traders and middlemen are buying onions dirt cheap and selling them at high prices, taking the entire nation for a ride.

Anant Pendhari, a farmer near Nashik got Rs 8 per kilo of onions when he sold his produce to the wholesale trader in December. The same onions cost around Rs 50-70 a kilo in the retail market.

“Prices might be skyrocketing but I haven't got anything. Only those with a decent quality produce have got something,” said Anant Pendhari.

The traders on the other hand claim otherwise.

“I don't think the intention is to stock or drive up prices. The price is due to natural reasons,” said Vardhaman Lunked, Onion Trader, Nashik.

The crux of this current crisis is that while the traders bought onions from farmers at a low rate blaming the poor quality, they sold off the same supply to the retailers at a very high rate blaming the short supply.

But why didn't the government monitor the traders, which form a crucial cog in the supply chain inspite of knowing that the onion yeild has been poor.

While banning exports is macro-level tool why isn't there a robust mechanism to monitor wholesale market level trading?

The crisis could have deepened further as on Monday. The wholesale market in Nashik wore a deserted look on Monday as traders after last weeks nationwide IT raids went on a strike but withdrew it after an emergency meeting with the state government.

The one question that the farmers, traders and the consumers are asking is that did the government have to wait for this long to take note of this teary crisis.

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