By Laxman Kafle Kathmandu, Sept. 17: Following a ban on the export of onion by the government of India, its price has skyrocketed in Nepal in the last two days. The Indian government has imposed a ban on the export of onion since Monday after its price increased in India due to short supply. According to Kalimati Fruits and Vegetable Market Development Board (KFVMDB), wholesale price of onion jumped to Rs. 120 per kilogram on Wednesday while it was only Rs. 60 on Monday. It shows that the price of onion doubled just in two days. A kilogram of onion was traded at Rs. 75 in the wholesale market in Kalimati on Tuesday. However, the price of a kilogram of onion reached above Rs. 140 in the retail market in the Kathmandu Valley. Every year between September and October the demand for onion increases in India with the approach of the festive season and its price also goes up in Nepal. The onion price had reached Rs. 150 per kilogram in the domestic market last year after India imposed a similar ban in its export at the end of September 2019. Deputy Director and information officer of KFVMDB Binaya Shrestha said that black marketing was responsible for the significant price hike of onion. He said that supply of onion to the Kalimati market had stopped completely since Monday as the traders were selling onion, which was in their stock, at an expensive rate. “The traders are selling the stocked onion at a higher rate after a halt in its import which is unethical,” he said. He said that the board had begun monitoring the market after it received complaints of black marketing. Bhagawan Chandra Upreti, a wholesaler, said black-marketing of onion by the traders resulted in the price hike overnight. He said that the government should take action against those who have been involved in black-marketing. It is a challenge for the country to depend on foreign country, especially India, for onion due to lack of production, Upreti said, adding that the local onion met only 2 per cent demand of the Kathmandu Valley. The local onion is consumed only by household farmers and supplied in the nearby market, he said.
No stock in market Bharat Upreti, onion and potato wholesaler of Kalimati market, said that the price of onion had increased significantly in the market overnight when the import of onion stopped because of high demand instead of short supply. “This time, the traders have very nominal amount of onion in their stock that led to the sudden rise in price,” he said. The stock of onion that the traders of Kalimati have has finished from today, he said. The daily demand for onion in the Kathmandu Valley is around 200 tonnes.