Having faced a bad experience last year in the shortage of onion supply leading to stampede of people at various markets, the Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy government in Andhra Pradesh has reacted quickly this year to ensure that there is no trouble for the consumers.
This year, the state marketing department announced market intervention to supply onions at subsidized rates.
While the market price of onions skyrocketed to Rs 100-Rs 120 a kg, the Jagan government on Friday started distributing onions at a rate of Rs 40 a kg to the consumers at all Rythu Bazars.
However, since there is a shortage of onion stocks, the government has declared that each family would get only one kg of onions. There were long queues at all Rythu Bazars in almost all the major cities in the state.
In the next couple of days, supply of onions at subsidized rates would start even in villages, sources said.
According to state agriculture minister K Kannababu, the marketing department had made arrangements for procuring 5,000 tons of onions from NAFED (National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India) for supply at subsidised rates. About 1,000 tons of onions would be released for immediate supply.
Recent heavy rains and floods in various parts of the state resulted in heavy damages to the onion crops, especially in Kurnool and Kadapa districts of Rayalaseema, which are major suppliers.
As a result, the state is forced to import onions at higher rates and supply the same to consumers at subsidized rates.