Bangaloreans were smiling all these days after vegetable prices returned to earth at the beginning of the New Year. Well, that smile has slipped a bit as prices have shot up again, climbing as high as 50 per cent.
Worse is to come as industry experts forecast further increase in prices because of two reasons. The first being the start of the marriage season and other auspicious occasions, and the second — and more serious — depleting arrivals because of destruction/ poor yield due to the cold spell during the last two months.
While the prices of carrot and beans were already high, it is okra that tops the list with Hopcoms selling it at Rs. 49 a kg. Even its wholesale price on Tuesday was Rs. 30.
Blame the cold
G.M. Venkatesh, a senior executive with a vegetable retail chain, blamed the severe winter affecting the vegetable's harvest. He said even beans and cucumber also have taken a beating thanks to the weather.
Sandeep, who looks after Green Fresh at Kenchanahalli Cross on Doddabasti Main Road, predicted that with summer round the corner, prices will only increase.
It has been bad for consumers this past week with prices zooming up. They were moderate at the beginning of the month, said Ranganathan, a vegetable vendor in Sampangiramanagar, who said that such inflation would eat into his profits as he has to spend a good to procure the vegetables from Krishna Rajendra Market. His customers also have cut down on buying, he said.
Homemaker Uma Hande, who lives in K.R. Puram, confirmed this. “I'm in the middle of creating a terrace garden to beat the price rise. Vegetables like tomato and leafy vegetables could easily be grown in pots.”
But she said fruits were a problem, sighing over their exceptionally high prices, especially pomegranate and apple, which are being sold not less than Rs. 180 and Rs. 130 a kg in neighbourhood shops. The only solace is by papaya (Rs. 15 to Rs. 20), yelakki banana (Rs. 30-35) and to some extent sapota (Rs. 30-35), she said.