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Sunday, 21 September 2014

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Govt intervention stabilises onion prices

The prices of big onions at the Dambulla Dedicated Economic Centre (DDEC) picked up on Thursday after the Government intervened in purchasing stocks. The harvesting of big onions is now underway and farmers have received a bumper harvest this year but they are worried as prices have dropped.

The wholesale price of big onions at DDEC has dropped below Rs. 40 per kg and farmers said that they cannot sell at such a low price because the cost of production is over Rs.35 per kg.

A farmer, W.M.Tharanga of Kandalama, one of the main big onion growing areas, said that they expect a price of over Rs. 60 per kg.

By mid last week the price was picking up and on Wednesday the price was around Rs. 40 and on Thursday it increased to Rs. 52-55 as supplies declined.

The chairman of H6D2 farmer organisation, Anuradhapura said that after government agencies intervened to purchase big onion at Rs. 60 per kg on Wednesday, the price at the DDEC too increased.

The farmer organisation expects the price to increase further and called upon the farmers not to bring all their stocks to the market at once.

Since trading at DDEC is highly competitive, price depends on supply. Since the weather is dry there is no problem in keeping the stocks, he said. “This is the same scenario that has been happening every year during the harvesting season of agro products such as paddy, potatoes, vegetables and big onions and farmers suffer losses," a market analyst said. "The potato farmers in Welimada and Nuwara Eliya face the same fate these days as prices have declined. The government intervention in purchasing has little impact because a large quantity of imported products are coming into the market,” he said.

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