According to sources onion prices touched an all-time high at the Koyambedu market in chennai on sunday with one kilogram costing Rs 160. Meanwhile the price has been steadily rising over the past several weeks due to floods in several parts of the country, including karnataka and maharashtra and perhaps the cost of drumsticks also peaked, with one kilogram costing as high as Rs 400 in some parts of Tamilnadu. When speaking to TNM, VR Soundararajan, President of the Koyambedu Wholesale Traders Association and a member of Market Management Committee, said, “The market rate for onions in Koyambedu is about Rs 140 per kg. The retail price is between Rs 150 and Rs 160. Shops are getting onions from maharashtra and andhra pradesh but these are smaller in size.”
Furthermore Prema, a housewife and a regular customer at the wholesale market, told TNM that it is impossible to cook without onions but the prices have forced her to cut down consumption. She laments “Onion and tomato are the main ingredients in most of our cooking, so we cannot cook without these. We are a family of four. Earlier, we used to add onion as per our taste and cook with five to six onions for sambar or curry. These days, I use only one or two. Even small onions (shallots) are extremely costly. We are not able to afford it".
Moreover according to wholesalers, farmers have been struggling to produce drumsticks this monsoon season, a crop that needs abundant sunlight. Apparently Soundararajan says that wholesalers are procuring the onions for between Rs 120 and Rs 140, “which is too high for us and we cannot manage.”