Price of onions brings tears as India heads into festive season

An Indian vendor gathers onions for a customer on a roadside stall in New Delhi. Scarcity has caused onion prices to rise, which could hit spending as India's festive season reaches its peak with the Hindu festival of lights, Diwali, this month. (Sajjad Hussein/AFP/Getty Images)

An Indian vendor gathers onions for a customer on a roadside stall in New Delhi. Scarcity has caused onion prices to rise, which could hit spending as India’s festive season reaches its peak with the Hindu festival of lights, Diwali, this month. (Sajjad Hussein/AFP/Getty Images)

NEW DELHI, India — With festivals around the corner, the rising price of onions has been a cause of worry for people in India’s capital. Dealers Monday said the rising trend in onion prices will continue.

“The arrival of onions from other states has reduced considerably. Supply will thus fall far short of demand,” Meetha Ram, president of the Chamber of Azadpur Fruit and Vegetable Sellers said.

The wholesale prices of onions in the national capital now stands at around Rs.60-70 kg ($1.00 -$1.17/kg), but at retail stores, onions are selling for about Rs.80 per kg ($1.34/kg). In Canada, onions go for about $1.50/kg.

“If the prices are to be brought down, the government should think about importing onions,” Ram said.

Women who manage households have been facing a pinch, their budgets greatly hit.

“Tomorrow is Karva Chauth (when married women fast for the long life of their husbands) and in a few days there is Diwali. How do we manage our budget?” asked a worried Harshika Dang, a homemaker who lives in a joint family.

“I used to to buy three kg onion for a week. Now I make do with one kg because the price has almost tripled,” Namrata Wadhwa, a homemaker in east Delhi, said.

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