Veggies turn bitter

Koyambedu wholesale market has been witnessing a significant reduction in arrival of shoppers. Photo: B. Jothi Ramalingam  

It is not just the city’s temperature that is on an upward trend, but the prices of vegetables too.

Consumers at Anna Nagar were shocked to see the price tag of a kilogram of tomatoes at Rs.50 at a retail shop. The prices of several vegetables are steadily increasing owing to low yield in other States from where Chennai gets its main supply. The soaring mercury level and water scarcity have affected produce, traders say.

R.Latha of Mogappair, says she is now conscious while choosing vegetables and buys fewer of them. “I buy cheaper vegetables to manage within my budget. My weekly vegetable bill has gone up from Rs.150 to Rs.250,” she said.

Tomatoes and beans are among the costliest vegetables. Traders say the Koyambedu wholesale market has been receiving only 40 truck loads of tomatoes for the past few days against its usual share of 60 truck loads daily. Supplies have come down owing to the heat wave in Andhra Pradesh, the main source for tomatoes.

Customers also have to shell out twice the money to buy drum sticks as the season in the State ended earlier than usual. Most of the vegetables are priced above Rs.30 in the wholesale market itself, traders say.

The rise in prices, soaring temperature and vacation has meant a 20 per cent dip in arrival of customers to Koyambedu market. Only potatoes and brinjals are among the affordable ones. S.Chandran, a wholesale merchant, said: “We get more stock from Gujarat and Agra as excess produce is getting diverted here, but some of them are of poor quality. This summer, consumers have to spend more on vegetables owing to less rainfall. Prices are at least 10 per cent higher than in May last year,” say traders, who fear the upward trend in price might continue till July.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2022 2:11:17 AM |

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