The escalating prices of vegetables have hit the family budgets of most households in the district, who have either cut down the use of some vegetables or found alternatives.
Anita Surendran, a house wife, from Kakkodi in Kozhikode, has stopped preparing the favourite fish and onion curry for her children, because she feels that Rs.100 per kilogram is too much for onion, which is also used in many other dishes.
Use of tomato
She used to use tomato to lace her curries with a sour taste, but now has replaced that with curd and tamarind.
She cannot make a kitchen garden due to the peculiarity of the soil and wonders how she would make both ends meet with vegetables priced so high.
The price of tomato has been doubled in the last one month resulting in a steep decline in the sale.
The vegetables for day-to-day use like long beans, cabbage, carrot and bitter gourd have also gone out of reach for the middle class. “Upperi is a luxury for me now,” said another house wife Usha Krishnadas.
She has stopped purchasing vegetables completely.
Instead, she has begun a vegetable garden with help from the local Krishi Bhavan where she has grown enough spinach, ladies fingers and chillies for her daily use.
Latheef, a vegetable vendor at the Palayam market in Kozhikode said that the sale of vegetables in general had declined due to the high prices of most of them.
“People have become picky these days. We had customers who used to buy two to three kilograms of tomato at one go. Now they have reduced it to half a kilogram.
The main reason for the high prices is lower supply, due to lower production in Tamil Nadu, where we get most of our vegetables from,” he said.
But the prices of even local items like broomstick has escalated, which Mr. Latheef attributes to the low production caused by drought in the State over the last few months.
The price rise of vegetables kept fluctuating between Rs.5 and 10 over the last one week. But it is still very high compared to last month’s prices.
The plight of the local vegetable vendors would be in real jeopardy if this trend continued for long, Mr.Latheef said.