Inadequate rainfall and low yield of crops have pushed up prices of some vegetables here. With reduced supply, prices of some vegetables have seen an increase over the corresponding period last year.
The prices of coriander leaves, raddish and knol khol have all breached their previous highs.
“Scanty rainfall has resulted in low vegetable yield thus affecting the supply of some vegetables to the city. While prices of some vegetables have gone up substantially, that of a few vegetables like lemon has come down. The average cost of lemon has been around Rs. 70 a kg whereas its average cost last year was around Rs. 80 a kg,” said a source in the Horticulture Department.
The official also pointed out that the cost of many other vegetables, which have been in good supply, has been higher this year by around Re. one or Rs. two a kg. This, he attributed to the fluctuating cost of transport and also increased cost of cultivation.
While the average price of onion has been Rs. 37 a kg, the average price of brinjal and tomato has been Rs. 28 and Rs. 16 respectively, which was almost the same last year.
President of the K.R. Market Traders’ Association G.M. Diwakar said vegetable prices have gone up in the last two or three weeks, and that it is likely to remain high at least till the end of July. “A kg of peas shot up from Rs. 200 to Rs. 260, and the retail price of traditional variety of beans has touched Rs. 80 a kg. This price rise has been among the highest in the recent times,” he added.
Meanwhile, an official of a leading vegetable chain said the high cost of vegetables also has pushed away many pushcart vendors out of business, though temporarily.
“Investments for pushcart vendors go up drastically and their margins have to be high. In the hot condition, moisture level in vegetables comes down resulting in losses to vendors since vegetables lose weight.
In such a scenario, customers prefer retail chains where the prices are competitive.” Flowers become dearer