Onion prices have soared mainly due to 'governance deficit' and issues related to licensing of wholesalers, Minister of State for Agriculture Tariq Anwar said.
"The recent rise in prices of onion are clear case of governance deficit. If farmers get paid Rs 10 per kg, while the consumers pay anywhere between Rs 80-100 per kg of onion, there is obviously something seriously wrong in the way onion market operates," Anwar said.
Onions and tomatoes are essential cooking ingredients and both have witnessed rise in prices. Onions are selling in the range of Rs 60-70 per kg, while prices of tomatoes have gone up to Rs 70-80 per kg in the national capital.
"... we know that there are governance issues related to licensing of wholesalers, issues related to holding capacity of farmers, issues related to market prices information and a number of issues related to the whole supply chain which creates the kind of pricing contradiction," Anwar added.
Reversing the trend this time, prices of vegetables have surpassed that of fruits, Anwar said, adding, "it seems there is hoarding and middlemen responsible for that".
On rise in tomato prices, Anwar said, "We will look into the reasons why tomato prices have gone up." As per the government data, onion was being sold at Rs 80 in Hisar, while the lowest was Rs 31 in Hyderabad.
The average price for 57 cities was Rs 50 per kg. Tomato prices are highest at Rs 70 per kg in Kanpur and lowest at Rs 15 per kg in Bhopal, while the average price for 57 cities was Rs 40 per kg, as per the government data.
According to traders at Delhi's wholesale mandi of Azadpur, tomato prices have gone up sharply as supplies from Himachal Pradesh have almost stopped with the onset of winter, while arrivals from Ratlam in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra are also low.