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Updated: October 20, 2011 12:04 IST

Vegetable prices shoot up

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Poor arrivals at the Ernakulam market and an apparent scarcity of produces from outside Kerala are forcing up the price of vegetables at the Ernakulam market over the last four days. Tomato, bitter gourd, big onions and cow pea (achinga) and mangoes have seen more significant increase in prices.

Sources in Kerala State Horticultural Products Development Corporation (Horticorp) said here on Tuesday that vegetable prices were moving rapidly up this week though banana (nendran) was selling low thanks to heavy arrivals from neighbouring Tamil Nadu.

Convener of the Vegetables Auction Committee at the Maradu wholesale market in the city, V. P. Kuriakose alleged that traders might be jacking up prices though he said that farmers were getting remunerative prices at the auctions.

Scientists at the Vegetable and Fruit Promotion Council, who track vegetable prices, said that there was no apparent reason for the current bout of price rise though slow arrivals could be one.

Figures from VFPCK showed that banana (nendran) price had slipped to Rs. 24 kg in the retail market here from the level of Rs. 35-36 during the Onam season, when usually the price of the favourite banana variety spikes in the Kerala market. This is a also a much lower level for Nendran than in September 2010 when price ruled at Rs. 37 a kg in the retail market.

Ash gourd was selling at Rs. 16 a kg in the retail market on Wednesday. Bitter gourd was selling at Rs. 46 a kg in the retail market, up from Rs. 16 a kg a month ago. The price of elephant foot yam was Rs. 20 a kg in the retail market while the price was Rs. 26 a kg last month.

Tapioca was selling for Rs. 15 a kg in the retail market on Wednesday, keeping the same level as last month. The price of tomatoes was Rs. 25 a kg; ridged gourd Rs. 25; big onions Rs. 20 a kg; potatoes Rs. 20 a kg; French beans Rs. 38 a kg; green chilly Rs. 24 a kg; cow pea (achinga) Rs. 34 and drum sticks Rs. 28 a kg.

N. H. Shameed, secretary of the Market Stall Owners' Association said that arrivals from Tamil Nadu had slowed a little this week and that farmers were blaming the dry conditions for the poor crop. He also said that the quality of some of the produces like tomato was not touching the usual level.

Keywords: food inflation

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