Locally grown onions which were once commonly seen hanging in plenty in the kitchens of many homes have now become a prized commodity, reports Bhiva P Parab
Few years back farmers in Goa used to cultivate the gaothi kande’ or Uliche Kande (locally grown onions) and people used to buy them in the summer and store them for the monsoon. However, in recent years their place is taken by the onions coming from outside the state. But despite there being less production of these locally grown onions the demand for them is good and most of the produce is sold within no time.
According to the information available from vendors along the Panaji- Margao highway, the locally grown onions are priced between Rs 150 and 300 a bunch and the bunch consists of around two and a half kilograms to three kilograms. The bunch of large sized onions are priced at around Rs 300, while the middle size onions are priced at Rs 200 to 250 per bunch and the small size onions are priced at around Rs 150 per bunch.
The price depends on the quality of the onions and the prices may vary from market to market. A vendor also went on to say that the white locally grown onions are more costly than the red onions as the production of white onions is less and they are considered superior and mainly used for home medicinal purpose. The white onions price begins from Rs 250 and depending upon size goes on to Rs 350 to 400 per bunch.
The reasons for buying these locally grown onions by the people are varied and it includes unique taste, less chemical fertilizers, medicinal benefits, according to the information available from the sources.
The vendors can be seen selling these onions along the Margao main road from Panaji. Most of the production of the onions is more in the South Goa. Exact data of production of this locally grown onions is not available, however the production of the crop has declined over the years of this locally grown onions, according to the information from the sources.
“It may be noted that the price of these local variety of onions are more than three or four times the onions which are bought from outside the state, however instead of this high price there is demand for these locally grown onions and mostly these locally grown onions are not bought by the customers in large quantity for daily use, however there is good market for these locally grown onions and now from morning I have sold so many bunches of these locally grown onions and now only few bunches are remaining and customers come searching for these onions,” said a vendor.
A famer who used to cultivate the local variety of onions said that a few years back our family used to grow plenty of the local variety of onions in the fields, however now we have stopped because it is difficult to get labourers. Earlier the family members used to work in the fields but now we don’t get enough time and the farmers have to put hard work to grow these onions and we have to water it daily and earlier I used to go to field with my family members to water these onions and so it was possible for us to grow these onions in plenty and now it is up to the young generation now to grow this local onion variety.
The sale of the locally grown onions in the markets and especially along the Panaji- Margao highway generally begins from March and goes upto May. In very small quantity they are also available during other days in various markets.