KUWAIT CITY, Nov 15: Inadequate supply of onions in the market is causing the recent hike in prices of the commodity, reports Al-Anba daily quoting a source from Fruits and Vegetable market. He noted the issue is partly to do with import of large quantities of onions that were declared unfit by the Public Authority for Nutrition after test result showed the commodity was not safe for consumption.
He noted large quantities of onions seized by the sector were returned to their places of origin and the traders are afraid the same scenario could be repeated; thus refraining from the importation of new consignments until the issue has been settled by the Public Authority for Nutrition and Kuwait Municipality.
He noted the traders seek to mount pressure on Kuwait Municipality and other official bodies to limit testing of onions to ‘plain view’ rather than ‘laboratory analysis’, especially as goods coming to Kuwait are second or third class — unlike those to Dubai and other countries rated first-class.
Concerning the prices of onion, the source said a sack of 16 kilogram goes for 8 dinars. He noted the groceries used to sell this sack for half dinar per a kilo but it’s not available now.
He pointed out that many products have been found to contain harmful materials to the extent that they are not safe for human consumption, and traders who want to bring those products to the local market can’t do so without monitoring.
He also said the laboratory test is pushing traders to a tight corner, as it appears that health certificates attached to shipments are not accurate and or include many errors. Meanwhile, sources said a committee of representatives from several official authorities intends to lift the ban on import of onion from Egypt, which might help bring the prices of onion down.