Banana prices go north

Nendran variety cost ₹80-₹85 a kg on Saturday

As Onam nears, not everyone is entering the celebratory mode. Households, particularly, are groaning under the burden of ever-rising vegetable prices. If it was tomatoes that were making people shed tears a few weeks ago, it is bananas that are now burning a hole in the common man’s pocket.

Bindu, a homemaker, said banana prices had registered a steep increase and the household budget was being stretched like never before, but they could not do without bananas.

The most sought-after ‘nendran’ variety of bananas cost ₹80-₹85 a kg in vegetable outlets on Saturday, as against ₹50 a kg a month ago.

The Vegetable and Fruit Promotion Council Keralam on Friday listed the retail price of ‘nendran’ at ₹70, and the wholesale price at ₹65.

It is not only the price of ‘nendran’ variety that is going north.

A vegetable vendor at Eenchakkal said ‘njalipoovan’ (rasa kadali) cost ₹90 a kg while ‘palayamkodan’ cost ₹50. The robusta variety cost ₹45 a kg, and ‘poovan’, ₹40-50 a kg. The retail price of the ‘kappa’ variety was ₹72 a kg, said a vendor at Karamana. “Prices will only increase as Onam approaches,” he said.

Sadasivan Sugathan, who runs a beauty parlour near the airport, said he bought bananas fewer times a week than earlier.

“It is not possible to eliminate it altogether because children have to be given fruits as part of their diet. Prices are likely to keep going up in the days to come,” he said.

A vegetable vendor said he was forced to make do with small-sized ‘rasa kadali’ from the Chala maret as the average-sized ones were not to be got from the market. Another vendor said the ‘palayamkodan’ variety was hard to come by.

Abdul Rashid, a wholesale dealer at the Chala market, said the wholesale rate was around ₹70-74 a kg for ‘nendran.’

In short supply

The supply of Wayanad variety of ‘nendran’ that had been reaching the market for the past couple of months had nearly stopped.

“We have some stock and are selling it for ₹64,” he said.

A retail vendor in the Chala market said the ‘matti’ variety of banana used for payasams and other desserts cost ₹200 a kg.

Even raw plaintain cost ₹50 for half a kg, another vendor said.

At a Horticorp outlet at Poojappura, the ‘nendran’ variety cost ₹80, and ‘rasa kadali’, ₹110 a kg. ‘Palayamkodan’, which usually could be bought for ₹30 a kg, was priced at ₹50 a kg.

The vendor said once the government intervened in the market in time for Onam, the prices would come down in the open market too.

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Printable version | May 25, 2020 2:47:08 PM |

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