Onion Prices Soar to Astronomical Heights: Consumers Shed Tears Over Wallets

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Nadia Nawaz

Islamabad, Onion, which is an essential ingredient of our food, cannot be prepared without it. If you see, the price of onion is increasing day by day.

Abdullah, a vegetable seller, says that the price of onion is increasing day by day, even though it is an essential part of our food. He says the vegetable seller has his own rate even the government sets the vegetable rate in the market daily.

Now onion has also been included in the category. First grade onion is Rs. 300 per kg. Second grade onion is Rs. 225 kg.
However, the question is why the price of onion increased and the supply decreased, due to which its prices started skyrocketing across the country.

Farmer Iqbal says that less money is earned in onion, so farmers grow less onion. Another reason is that its season is only two months in Punjab.

In Pakistan, onions are grown commercially on an area of 131.4 thousand hectares with a production of 1.8 million tons. The major onion growing districts in Punjab are Kasur and Vehari. Equally, the districts of Hyderabad and Sanghar of Sindh produce three percent more than the whole of Punjab.

Pakistan produces the sixth largest onion in the world .It is the leading country and according to the Ministry of Agriculture, in 2022, 20 million tonnes of onions were produced in Pakistan.

According to the Pakistan Economic Survey, more than three lakh tons of onions were exported from the country in 2020-21 and this is Pakistan, 15% of the export of fruits and vegetables.

Pakistan exports onions from Sri Lanka, Qatar, Oman and Malaysia etc

The increase is mainly linked to India’s ban on onion exports in early December. After India’s exit from the export market, Pakistan saw an increase in demand, which led to an increase in local prices.
Major problems of onion production include non-availability of timely HYV onion seeds, lack of technical skills of onion growers, high prices throughout the cultivation period, and non-availability of certified fertilizers at appropriate times.

Government initiatives

Despite government efforts to curb this increase, such as the recent minimum export price (MEP) increase from $750 to $1,200 per ton, onion prices continue to rise in the domestic market.

This is the reason the government has imposed a ban on onion exports, According to the notification issued by the Federal Ministry of Commerce, export of bananas and onions will be banned till April 15.