English | Dzongkha Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Retailers charging higher, and increase of price from source attribute to soaring price of onion

Oct 26, 2020

The Food Corporation of Bhutan (FCB) in Phuentshogling expects a further increase in the already high price of onions in the country. High onion prices in India and retailers charging beyond the margin set by the government are the reasons for the soaring price in the market. Today, onions are being sold at around Nu 180 to Nu 200 per kg across the country.

Beginning this week, FCB started distributing onions from Phuentshogling, Gelegphu and Samdrup Jongkhar to other parts of the country. The price of onion skyrocketed in every market in the country.

“As per the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, retailers can charge 20 per cent extra on the price FCB distributed it to them. But, three days back, we supplied onions to Thimphu for Nu 77 a KG. The retailers sold it at Nu 180- Nu 200 per KG in the market, which is 100 per cent extra. This is one reason why the prices went so high in the market,” said Dorji Tashi, the Director for Department of Corporate Business under the FCBL.

However, as per the retailers, when they buy a sack full of onion, they have to throw a few kilograms as they are already spoilt. Some also say that every sack full of onions they buy doesn’t weigh accurate. FCB has now started to weigh the onions before selling it.

To make the matter worse, FCBL says that within a month’s time, the price has increased by 152 per cent from the source in India.

“There are chances that the prices will soar hereafter. It is reflected in newspapers in India and even the Indian traders who supply onion to FCB tells me the same. FCB distributed onions to Thimphu for Nu 77 per KG a few days back. And today, it has increased to Nu 93 here in Phuentshogling itself,” he added.

Meanwhile, onions have not reached every market in the country. Last year, 270 metric tonnes of onions were imported every month. So, the markets will continue to face a shortage of onions.

Sonam Penjor

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