Cyclone Jal that caused untimely rainfall in the State, leading to extensive crop damage, has also sent the prices of some vegetables, particularly the most commonly-used onions, sky-rocketing.

A kg of onion is now sold at nearly Rs. 50, while it ranged between Rs. 22 and Rs. 25 a kg a fortnight ago. Onion was sold at Rs. 46 a kg at HOPCOMS outlets on Saturday, while in the neighbourhood shops the price ranged between Rs. 45 and Rs. 50 a kg.

Strangely, the price of capsicum, which had touched Rs. 60 a kg, dipped to Rs. 16 to Rs. 20 a kg this week. Also, the price of beans, which had shot up to Rs. 40 a kg two months ago, has remained at about Rs. 18 a kg. Apart from onion, the prices of lady's finger and carrot (Ooty) have also gone up substantially, up to Rs. 32 and 44 a kg, respectively.

Mohammed Idrees Choudhury, general secretary of Fruits and English Flower Merchants' Association, Russel Market, told The Hindu that the prices of commodities in Russel Market are the cheapest as no middleman is involved. While prices of fruits fell after the Deepavali and Ramzan festivals, those of vegetables have gone up as arrivals have taken a hit because of heavy rain in the last few days.

G.M. Venkatesh, a senior executive with a vegetable retail chain, noted that the untimely rain in North Karnataka and Maharashtra has devastated standing onion crops sending the prices up. Whatever produce is arriving in the markets is of inferior quality and it cannot be stored for long time and hence the heavy price, he said. Mr. Venkatesh noted that the price has increased by Rs. 10 in the past one week.

He said that in normal days, the prices should have come down as the festival season was over. The prices of some of the locally grown vegetables, including beans and cauliflower, have not increased much and in some cases, the prices have come down, Mr. Venkatesh pointed out.

On the other hand, the prices of fruits have witnessed a decline after the festival season. Apple (Kashmir), which was sold at about Rs. 90 to Rs. 100 a kg during the festival season, is now sold at Rs. 60 to Rs. 70 a kg. Similarly, Musambi is now being sold at Rs. 35 a kg instead of Rs. 40 a kg. The prices of “Yelakki” Banana as well as Sapota have also come down to about Rs. 35 a kg from Rs. 40 a kg.

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