Times of India Daily
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Price spike for garlic due to groundwater depletion

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<p>Garlic prices are rising suddenly and sharply due to depleting groundwater in two key production states, which becomes an agricultural disaster if the monsoon rains fail. Experts and dealers have described this as a long-term environmental and farming disaster.</p>
<p><img decoding=”async” class=” wp-image-313824″ src=”https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/theindiaprint.com-price-spike-for-garlic-due-to-groundwater-depletion-istockphoto-511382624-612×612-1.jpg” alt=”theindiaprint.com price spike for garlic due to groundwater depletion istockphoto 511382624 612×612 1″ width=”1031″ height=”687″ title=”Price spike for garlic due to groundwater depletion 3″ srcset=”https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/theindiaprint.com-price-spike-for-garlic-due-to-groundwater-depletion-istockphoto-511382624-612×612-1.jpg 612w, https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/theindiaprint.com-price-spike-for-garlic-due-to-groundwater-depletion-istockphoto-511382624-612×612-1-150×100.jpg 150w” sizes=”(max-width: 1031px) 100vw, 1031px” /></p>
<p>Retail costs for garlic, a pungent bulb that is vital to Indian cookery, have increased from ₹40 a year ago to around ₹400 per kg in certain markets last week, particularly in the northeastern regions. When the prices initially began to soar, three months ago, the herb sold for ₹150. Only until a new crop is ready for harvesting in January, according to merchants, are rates anticipated to stabilize.</p>
<p>Due to an El Nino global weather pattern, a patchy monsoon devastated summer-planted garlic and onion crops in Karnataka and Maharashtra, with sections of both regions receiving up to 55% and 57% of inadequate rainfall between July and August. El Nino, which is characterized by increasing Pacific temperatures, brings about dry weather in India. This year’s June-September monsoon, which normally watered slightly less than half of the nation’s net-sown acreage, was approximately 5% below average due to the meteorological anomaly.</p>
<p>The average retail price of garlic in India has been ₹230–350 over the last week, with certain northeastern regions seeing prices as high as ₹400, according to Prakash Tomar, a dealer in Mandsaur, Madhya Pradesh, the biggest center for wholesale trading of the vegetable. The priciest type in Mandsaur on Monday went for ₹23,000 a quintal (100kg) at wholesale.</p>
<p>According to wholesaler Tomar, “rates are likely to decline from current levels in January, but garlic prices could remain elevated till March.”</p>
<p>For over a year, both the government and the general public have been struggling with excessive food costs. Food costs drove retail prices to a three-month high of 5.55% in November.</p>
<p>Both the summer (kharif) and winter (rabi) seasons are used to raise garlic. Poor rains, according to traders, ruined the summer crop that was seeded in Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra around July. In India, Maharashtra alone is responsible for around 40% of total output.</p>
<p>As September approached and the rains intensified, farmers were forced to replace the crop. Garlic cultivated in Kharif is harvested in October or November after being planted in June or July. Supply is being strained due to delayed harvests due to delayed seeding.</p>
<p>The amount of garlic produced has decreased over time. Official estimates for 2022–2023 show that output was 2.2 million tons, down from 3.5 million tons the year before. Garlic production reached 3.3 million tons in 2020–21.</p>
<p>While the winter crop is cultivated in March and April, a second crop is seeded in September and November. Bangalore dealer KN Ravi stated, “It was like missing one entire crop to a poor monsoon.”</p>
<p>The issue has been made worse by a shortage in Maharashtra and Karnataka, despite the fact that Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Gujarat are all significant producers. Farmers often resort to pumping groundwater when rains are insufficient, but garlic producers in Karnataka and Maharashtra are particularly badly struck by declining underground water levels.</p>
<p>Not even forty feet of water existed. The prices per foot range from ₹300 to ₹500, and the deeper you go, the more you have to pay, according to Suresh Khadre, a representative of the Bidar wholesale market.</p>
<p>With 73.8% of the world’s output, China is the leader in garlic production; India comes in second with 10.4%, indicating a significant productivity difference.</p>


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