Vegetable prices show mixed trend

Increased availability of potatoes, big onions and tomatoes a relief for consumers

Updated - May 11, 2022 07:55 pm IST

Published - May 11, 2022 07:54 pm IST - KOCHI

A nun buying vegetables from a shop at Ernakulam market on Wednesday.

A nun buying vegetables from a shop at Ernakulam market on Wednesday. | Photo Credit: THULASI KAKKAT

The prices of vegetables and bananas between December last year and the current week have been a mixed bag with some of the items seeing marginal shifts in prices, while some of the vegetables are costing less. The Kerala season for vegetable harvest will begin in about a fortnight and prices may go down a little though observers said prices may see an upward movement in the rainy season with local farmers taking precautions against possible flooding of fields and potential crop loss.

The price of nendran variety of bananas, one of the favourites in the State as both a vegetable in its raw form and as a fruit when it is ripe, was ₹55 per kg in the wholesale market and ₹60 in the retail market (for the locally produced) on May 11, 2022. The price of imported nendran was ₹49 and ₹55 in the wholesale and retail markets respectively on the day. The price of nendran on December 10, 2021 was ₹38 and ₹39 for the local variety, said figures from the Vegetable and Fruit Promotion Council.

The price of vegetable cowpea, which goes into a variety of preparations including sambar and dry curries, was ₹35 in the wholesale market and ₹45 in the retail market. The price was ₹65 and ₹67 in the wholesale and retail markets respectively on December 10, last year.

A vendor arranges vegetables at a shop at Ernakulam market on Wednesday

A vendor arranges vegetables at a shop at Ernakulam market on Wednesday | Photo Credit: THULASI KAKKAT

French beans price too has shifted a little from ₹70 to ₹80 a kg on May 11 from ₹70 to ₹72 a kg on December 12 last year. The price of beetroot ruled between ₹38 and ₹45 per kg on May 11, having come down from ₹70 and ₹72 six months ago. The price of okra has also fallen sharply from ₹65 and ₹67 range in December last year to ₹50 and ₹62 in May this week.

The price of tomato has also come down from the ₹82-₹84 range in December last year to the ₹60-₹72 range this month. Potato price is also down from the level of ₹40 and ₹42 range six months ago to ₹26 to ₹32 range this week. The price of big onion, a sine qua non in all the kitchens, has come down to ₹36 and ₹38 range six months ago to ₹16 to ₹20 range this week.

R. Anusha, a housewife in Kochi said the vegetable availability had seen some positive changes over the past few months, which had helped households to cope with the current situation.

One of the key reasons for the trend is the increased availability of some of the key items like potatoes, big onions and tomato. The State government has also adopted a pro-active strategy, engaging agencies like Vegetables and Fruit Promotion Council Keralam (VFPCK) as well as the Kudumbashree mission to bring farmers together to cultivate both fruits and vegetables.

P. Ajeesh, employed in a private company in Kochi, said the rise in the price of cooking gas has been a big burden on ordinary households. But provisions and vegetables were mostly costing less now than a few months ago. However, he expressed the fear that the prices may again move up with the current trend in oil prices.

There are 1,100 hectares under VFPCK sponsored farmers in Ernakulam district while banana cultivation is spread over 1,600 hectares. There are around 10,000 self-help groups engaged in farming activities. Vegetable production has seen a marginal dip this year from around 1,200 tonnes to 11,300 tonnes. But the fall has been attributed to flooding as well natural events like heavy winds in the recent times. The volume of the vegetable production relates to the quantity sold through the Swasraya Karshaka Samithy under VFPCK.

The Kudumbashree mission has a total of around 74,776 joint liability groups (JLGs) of farmers, involving more than 3.43 lakh women farmers who are cultivating a total of 33,310 hectares across the State. There are nearly 6,000 JLGs in Ernakulam district. Women farmers are cultivating 2,506 hectares in the district.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.