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The spice of food

India is the second largest producer of onions, but the vegetable seems to be out of reach. (“The political price of onions,” editorial, Dec. 25). This does seem ironic as it is now scrambling to ensure adequate stocks. It was not long ago that we had tonnes of grain rotting for lack of storage facilities. It shows that there is never a contingency plan.

Ankita Ray,

Berhampur

* * *

It has become fashionable to blame the Centre for any price increase that involves food items including vegetables. Who is responsible if the price of tomato goes up, the Centre or the State? Local governments have their own agriculture and horticulture departments and they are supposed to monitor the prices regularly and take effective steps. Crop failure, either due to excessive rain or the lack of it, is being touted as the main reason for the spiralling prices. However, hoarding and inadequate storage/transportation of the perishable items too need to be addressed. We should have a long-term plan to tackle any exigency.

D.B.N. Murthy,

Bangalore

* * *

Perhaps, we need to learn lessons from China by following their methods in producing a bumper crop of onions despite adverse weather conditions.

Nirmala P. Rao,

Hyderabad

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