Sunday, August 20, 2017

Onion prices soar in Magwe due to low production

Onion prices in Magwe have rocketed as a result of low production caused by nationwide flooding in July and August, say farmers.

Two men transport bags of onions. Photo: StaffTwo men transport bags of onions. Photo: Staff

Onion farmer U Tin Ko said on November 12 that some prices had tripled.

Thick deposits of silt and gravel dumped on fields by the floodwaters have prevented farmers from planting, lowering production drastically, he said, adding, “It costs more to plant, and the yields are much smaller.”

Worst affected are Yenangyaung, Pwinbyu, Seikphyu and Sidoktaya townships in Magwe Region, said U Mg Naing Naing of the onion sales centre in Magwe city.

He added that a viss (1.6kg or 3.6lbs) of onions normally costs at most K800 but now sells for up to K2500.

“Prices are highly volatile. Traders and consumers are very worried. Last year the store price of a viss of onions was as low as K200,” he said.

Housewives facing high prices and shortages are alarmed at the development.

“I store onions bought in season and use them throughout the year. This year the cost of a quarter of a viss is what I paid last year for a viss. When will prices start to fall?” said Ma Thin Thin of Minhla township.

Onion retailers say ordinary-grade onions cost K1800 a viss but the highest-quality, so-called Chinese onion, can fetch up to K2500.

Translation by Emoon