S. Sandeep Kumar

Lower production in summer, unseasonal rain cited as reasons

HYDERABAD: P. Shyamala Devi, a regular customer at Erragadda Rythu Bazar, was shocked on Monday as the price of French beans was quoted at Rs. 50 per kg. It is not just the case of French beans, even prices of other vegetables have hit the roof at different markets in the city.

While capsicum is priced at Rs. 38 per kg, field beans are sold at Rs. 27 per kg, green chillies at Rs. 27 and carrot at Rs. 40 per kg. “Last week French beans were sold at Rs. 38 per kg, which was highest vegetable price then. It is now Rs. 50 and at this rate it is beyond my budget,” said Ms. Devi pointing to the beans crates at the market.

During summers vegetable production gets affected due to meagre supply of water but this season, unseasonal rains have also damaged many crops resulting in lower supply of vegetables, informs Bowenpally Agriculture Market Committee Supervisor Yadagiri.

Additional costs

With production in Vikarabad, Zaheerabad mandals and Medak, Ranga Reddy districts, the main source of vegetables for city markets, hitting a low, traders are importing vegetables from Bangalore. Customers are indirectly forced to bear all the additional costs like transportation, storage etc, he explains.

Rising mercury levels, unseasonal rains and series of marriages have aided in the skyrocketing of vegetable prices. It is natural for gold prices to escalate during marriage seasons, but this season marriage parties are forced to allot sizeable budget for vegetables as well in their parties, says Narsing Rao, a trader at Bharathnagar Vegetable market.

Taking advantage of the low supply and huge demand scenario, supermarkets and pushcart vendors at residential colonies made a killing by selling vegetables at exorbitant prices. “One cauliflower is sold at Rs. 25 per piece, carrots at Rs. 44 per kg and French beans at Rs. 65 per kg at different supermarkets. It's now a costly affair to be a vegetarian,” says Ramanatha Chary, a retired employee.

Traders predict the monsoon to hit by this month-end or early next month and eventually help the vegetable prices to roll down.