Vegetable prices soar as rain hits yield
Already reeling from high inflation on account of costlier food items, the common man is now getting further hit by surging vegetable prices across the country. Unseasonal rains in September and October months damaged vegetable crops in different parts of the country, leading to supply disruptions and rise in prices of veggies.
Traders also blame rising fuel and transportation costs for the price rise.
Retailers attribute the inclement weather in the past to the increased prices of vegetables. Vegetable vendors say their vegetables lying in the field got rotten due to incessant rains. This condition of the market has happened due to the shortage of the vegetables that could not reach the market and the general public.
“Tomatoes have wilted in all growing areas (Maharashtra, Karnataka and Gujarat) due to heavy rainfall. Good red fruit costs Rs 40-50 in wholesale so naturally retail rates are Rs 60-80. The situation will improve only after the new crop arrives mid-November. Same is the case with other vegetables. Only 20-30% of the current crop is of good quality. The remaining is average or below par,” TOI quoted Shankar Pingale, director at APMC Vashi, as saying.
A report by TOI shows that in Andheri Lokhandwala, tomatoes were sold for Rs 60 per kg on Tuesday. Spinach is available for Rs 50 per bunch, while lady finger is Rs 120 per kg and gavar (cluster beans) Rs 160. Pointed gourd, or parwal, is being sold at Rs 120 per kilo in Matunga, which is one of the costliest retail markets in the city.
Cauliflower, which is usually sold for Rs 16-18 is now being sold at Rs 60 in the wholesale market. Traders were earlier buying one lemon for around 50 paise- Rs 1, are now shelling out Rs 4-5 per fruit.
Multiple farmers across India have reportedly faced crop losses. This means that food prices, already at their highest in over two years, could stay elevated, instead of tapering after the harvest as they usually do. India’s millions of rural poor will be particularly affected, hit by both the bad crop and the high prices.