The prices of vegetables have continued to skyrocket over the last two weeks. At least seven items including tomatoes, knol-khol, beans, brinjal, capsicum, garlic, drumsticks and tondekai (ivy gourd) that are the staples in most households have crossed the ₹100/kg mark.
More significantly, vegetables like radish, carrots, beetroot, and several gourds, which are usually available at cheaper rates, also seem to be inching towards the 100 mark. While a kilo of radish is retailing at ₹90, carrots cost ₹92, beetroot ₹70 and bitter gourd ₹75.
“The recent spell of untimely heavy rains has caused large-scale crop damage. The supply of vegetables has dropped drastically and even if one is ready to pay, there is no supply of most of the staples,” said Umesh Mirji, Managing Director, Horticultural Producers’ Cooperative Marketing and Processing Society.
The crop cycle for most of these vegetables is at least two or three months. “We are now in a phase where the previous crop was severely damaged and the next crop is yet to come to harvest. Hence the situation is unlikely to change before Sankranthi, if there are no other spells of rain,” he said.
The silver lining is the price of onions and potatoes that are relatively low. However, the quality of onions available in the market is bad, with most wet and sprouted. “The prices of most greens, including coriander which had also crossed ₹100 for a bunch, have come down. Given that the crop cycle of greens is much shorter, their supply has slightly improved since the rains stopped and hence their prices have come down,” said Mr. Mirji.