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Sharp rise in vegetable prices

Retail price of several items has more than doubled since the first week of June

July 03, 2018 12:32 am | Updated 07:49 am IST - Bengaluru

The silver lining, however, is that the price of essentials — potatoes, onions and tomatoes — has not crossed the ₹30 per kg mark and is likely to remain stable.

The silver lining, however, is that the price of essentials — potatoes, onions and tomatoes — has not crossed the ₹30 per kg mark and is likely to remain stable.

With the wedding season well under way, the prices of most vegetables have shot up much to the dismay of families and small caterers.

The retail price of several vegetables, including beans, capsicum, carrots and radish, has more than doubled since the first week of June. The silver lining, however, is that the price of essentials — potatoes, onions and tomatoes — has not crossed the ₹30/kg mark and is likely to remain stable.

But the same cannot be said for other vegetables as prices are only expected to go up further in the next two weeks before a correction sets in the market. “The month of ‘ashada’, considered inauspicious according to Hindu beliefs begins on July 15 and no Hindu functions are held in that month. So vegetable prices will be on the higher side for the next two weeks and later tank, as the demand will come down,” said a senior procurement official for a leading retail grocery store chain in the city.

The retail price of beans has seen the sharpest rise for the past two weeks. At one point, it even touched the ₹100/kg mark to again drop to ₹80 per kg. Last month this time, it was retailing in the range of ₹45-₹50 in the first week of June. Capsicum is another vegetable, which is selling at ₹85 per kg up from ₹28 per kg in the first week of June. The prices of snake gourd, bitter gourd, bottle gourd and ridge gourd have also risen. Even the price of drumsticks has almost doubled from ₹32 per kg in first week of June to ₹60. (s ee table ).

Onions have seen a marginal price rise in the last week of June. “Most of the onions in Bengaluru are from Maharashtra and Vijayapura. The initial crop from Chellakere, the region which grows most of Karnataka’s onions, has begun reaching the market. But there is a shortage of onions in Madhya Pradesh, diverting the crop to the State causing price rise,” said Ravi Kumar of Onion and Potato Traders’ Association, Bengaluru. The onion season begins from August in the State and Ravi Kumar predicts lower prices this year. “Reports are that with good rains, the crop in Karnataka is expected to be good. The only spoiler may be shortage in Madhya Pradesh,” he said.

Though the price of potatoes is stable at ₹30/kg from June, there is a dearth of good supply. “It will take another two months for potato crop from Hassan to come to harvest. Now, most of the potato supply to Bengaluru has been from Agra and the quality is very low,” said Mr. Kumar.

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