The heavy rains that lashed the district over the past few days combined with the one-day general strike in Kerala has had mixed impact on the price of vegetables. The price of some vegetables rose sharply as their supply plummeted with farmers reluctant to harvest in the heavy rains. Also, transporting the produce to the market had become difficult.
Simultaneously, Wednesday’s strike in Kerala had caused a glut in the four main markets of The Nilgiris district — Udhagamandalam, Coonoor, Gudalur and Kotagiri. The neighbouring State is a major market and the strike completely halted the movement of goods, said a trader in the Mettupalayam Regulated Market.
The trader said Kerala was a major market for carrot, beetroot, radish, beans, potato and cabbage. With the strike, there were no buyers and prices of many of these produces crashed due to few takers.
While some traders in the district purchased these vegetables, they quoted low prices.
N. Raja Mohamed, president of Udhagai Market Anaithu Vyaparikal Ilaignar Nala Sangam, who runs a shop at Nilgiri Vegetable Commission Market, said arrivals from other States had driven down the prices of some produce like beans.
“Conversely, farmers are reluctant to harvest potatoes in the rain and its prices shot up. The ‘Ooty potato’ has a unique market all of its own and regular buyers would rather pay higher than buy the same product coming from other areas,” he said.
Regarding the crash in prices, he said the effect of the strike in Kerala was bound to be temporary. S. Anandan, a resident of Vittoppakovil Street in the district, said they had either sharply reduced the quantity or wholly stopped buying certain vegetables due to the steep hike in prices.