PANAJI/MARGAO: Petrol at 58 a litre is cheaper than a kg of onions in Goa.
Delivering a critical blow to the household budget, onions were selling at 60 to 70 a kg on Tuesday in markets across the state, while at the Goa State Horticulture Corporation outlets onion were selling at 60 per kg.
Onion prices shot up from 40 to 45 a kg on Saturday to 65 in Panaji, while the price remained at 60 in Margao.
Some Panaji vendors were even quoting 70 for a kg on onions.
Most vegetable vendors at Margao's wholesale Gandhi market, the SGPDA vegetable market and the new market claimed the failed crop and an acute shortage of onions responsible for the steep hike.
Onion prices escalated quickly due to shortages in the main vegetable markets. Margao wholesale vegetable vendor B Noor said, "The prices of onions and green chilies have shot up because there is a shortage in supply in Belgaum and Kolhapur."
Panaji vegetable wholesaler Arun Prabhu agreed and said they are selling onions at Rs 65 a kg as prices in Kholapur have increased.
Panaji wholesaler Dayanand Amonkar said, "The price of onions has gone up due to supply shortage. Last year, farmers were not able to harvest the first crop of onions due to late rains and drought in some parts of Maharashtra." It is only after the new onion crop reaches the market that rates may stabilize at around Rs 15 to 20, sources said.
Another vendor at the Margao wholesale market said, "Wholesale onion prices in Nasik, from where I get onions, are around Rs 45 to 50. We are selling at Rs 60 a kg here and from Wednesday I will sell it at Rs 70. The crop has failed in many places. Capsicum prices have also gone up from Rs 40 to Rs 70. Things will get better only in October."
While onions have shot up, tomato prices have dropped from Rs 40 to around Rs 20 to 30 a kg. Green chili prices too have shot up from Rs 40 a kg to between Rs 60 and 100, with at some markets chilies selling at Rs 120 a kg.