Due to a significant reduction in onion supplies, retail markets in Lucknow and its neighboring areas have witnessed a surge in onion prices, with them currently ranging from ₹70 to ₹75 per kilogram. Vendors are anticipating further price spikes, potentially reaching ₹100 per kilogram next month. The current onion prices have more than doubled since the beginning of this month.
Dharmendra, a local vendor, explained, “Onion prices started to rise shortly after Navratri ended. Initially, the vegetable was available at ₹40-45 per kilogram, but it has now escalated to ₹70-75 per kilogram at the Narhi retail market. At the start of this month, onions were priced at ₹30-35 per kilogram. Traders attribute this price hike to reduced arrivals due to a crop shortage.”
Housewife Varsha Singh expressed the impact of rising onion prices on daily life, stating, “Onions have disappeared from salads, and people are substituting them with radishes. Even local eateries have stopped serving onions with dishes like khasta and poori.”
Traders mentioned that this year, delayed and insufficient rainfall in onion-producing regions such as Nasik, Nagpur, Solapur, has resulted in significantly lower onion production, amounting to only about 30% of the usual output. Additionally, the available produce is of lesser quality.
Dharmendra added, “The new crop is expected in approximately two months, but it will be available in limited quantities. The market is likely to remain tight, and I anticipate wholesale prices touching ₹50 per kilogram in the next couple of days.”
Mantu Sonkar, a vendor at Lal Kuan market, stated, “There is a scarcity of supply in the market, and the quality of the produce is not up to the mark. A substantial portion of the stock gets spoiled, compelling us to raise prices to avoid losses. Customers are understandably dissatisfied with the sudden price hike and are purchasing smaller quantities.”
Lata Gupta, another homemaker, expressed her concerns about the continuous increase in prices, saying, “Every time we visit the market, something becomes more expensive. Only in July and August, tomato prices were sky-high, and now it’s onions, which are essential for cooking. How are we supposed to manage our household budget? It seems like there’s no relief for ordinary people.”