Onion prices will come down in the next few days on improved supply from Gujarat, Rajasthan and some parts of Maharashtra, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said today.
"The onion issue will be addressed in the next few days. The stock is adequate in the country. Supply is expected to improve in the coming days," Pawar said on the sidelines of a function here.
Arrival of new crop from Gujarat, Rajasthan and some parts of Maharashtra will start after February 15, he said.
Onion prices have increased significantly in the last few weeks fearing a fall in production. In the national capital, the retail price has gone up by more than two-fold to Rs 31 per kg compared to Rs 13 per kg in the same period last year, as per the official data.
On reasons for rise in onion prices in North India, Pawar said, "I have received communications from Nasik and talked to some traders. They complain that they are not getting railway wagons to transport onion to northern parts of the country."
"This particular point was discussed with the Cabinet Secretary yesterday. I hope they will initiate corrective action. If wagons are made available, I am sure the situation will change dramatically," he said.
There is last year's stock lying in Nasik and traders are eager to offload that stock in north India and get better price, he added.
On onion production in 2012-13, Pawar said the onion belt in Maharashtra has been affected due to severe drought. But the situation has substantially improved in other growing regions of Rajasthan, Gujarat and other states.
"That's why, the country as a whole, there should not be any problem about availability of onion," the minister said.
According to National Horticultural Research and Development Foundation (NHRDF), onion production this year is expected to be close to last year's level of 174 lakh tonnes despite 10 per cent fall in the area.