Prices have surged largely because of shortage of supplies caused by crop loss

Though prices of most vegetables have cooled in the weeks following Onam, the prices of onion, ginger, potato and tomato have got hotter over the last fortnight.

The prices have skyrocketed largely due to the shortage of supplies caused by crop loss, which traders here blamed on the extended monsoon.

While best quality ginger was being sold at Rs.120 a kg in the retail market, medium quality ginger was selling between Rs.60 and Rs.80 a kg in retail outlets in the city. The price of ginger in September was Rs.160 a kg; the price peaked during Onam.

It has been a steady rise for ginger throughout the year with price of the produce ruling firm at Rs.60 a kg in March this year.

Medium quality potato was selling at Rs.30 a kg in the retail market on Saturday; the price has been ruling steady for over a month. The price of best quality potato was Rs.24 a kg in March.

Onions also continue to hog the limelight. The price of medium quality big onion was Rs.70 a kg in the city markets.

The price of the bulb had peaked ahead of Onam and then cooled a little though the early months of 2013 gave an indication of the shape of things to come. The price of onion was Rs.20 a kg in March and it went up to Rs.55 kg in September.

Union Minister of State for Food, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution K.V. Thomas told The Hindu over phone that he expected the onion price to come down within a week.

He claimed that the arrival of imported onions would have a defining impact on the market. Onions are being imported by the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation.

The price of tapioca has not come down and rules almoston par with some varieties of rice at Rs.30 a kg.

The price of the tuber has risen rapidly from last October, when it cost Rs.12 a kg. The price of the tuber went up to Rs.20 a kg in March this year.

Extensive loss of crop due to flooding of fields during the heavy rain in June and July has been blamed for the high price of tapioca, a staple crop throughout the year.

The price of the nendran variety of bananas continues to be high at Rs.56 a kg in the retail market. The price has not eased much since early this year though the Onam season saw it peak at Rs.62 a kg. Beetroot (Rs.24 a kg in the retail market); bitter gourd (Rs.40), vegetable cowpea (Rs.40) and green chilli (Rs.40) make up the list of other items that are on the everyday shopping list.

The price of tomato rules at Rs.40 a kg in the retail market now. The price has risen from Rs.16 a kg in October last year to Rs.20 in March and Rs.30 in September this year.

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