Peeling of Indian Onions culminates..

The peeling of onions that we initiated last May on mandate from two major Indian clients in order to stand the Pan Indian onion trade and market failure, if any, with respect to sudden price spurt in December 2010, culminated last week.

This assignment gave us invaluable inputs and an opportunity to navigate silver streaks and dark alleys of agricultural commodity markets across India, particularly for an important commodity of daily use like onion that has ‘political’ potentials and overtones. 

Just to refresh your memory on how important onions are, some generic observations on horticultural commodities importance follows.

Onion serve as bombshells and, at times, serve as handles to beat the political opponents with. Several mighty governments had to kiss the earth because there was shortage of onion and potatoes. The ruling political parties in the region have always been conscious that at no time, especially during the political turmoil, there should be a shortage of onion and potatoes.

It is speculated that some of the people who are engaged in political games, with the connivance of traders and hoarders, create road blocks in the supply chain of these so-called ‘vulnerable’ horticulture commodities. Farmers are often misled, market prices are manipulated, and suppliers are often put to economic disadvantage to generate an artificial crisis with which to create an adverse reaction among the consumers and the general public. Several protests and rallies organised especially by housewives have been witnessed in some of the countries.

Farmers, the basic producers, are simple and honest people. Their main objective is to recover their investments and sell their produce at fair price. They do not have any other motive. They do not have the proper infrastructure to hold the perishable commodities until better times in the market. They cannot wait to dispose their products because they need money to prepare for the next crop. Politicians, traders and media relish playing with the sentiments of the farmers as well as of the consumers.

Wait for more specific updates from India‚Äôs onion trade insiders and specialist at this page. It is promised  onions will taste differently after reading those post.