Rains push up vegetable prices

Vegetable prices have gone up in Puducherry after the rains.

With the wholesale vendors reducing the quantity of vegetables purchased for the market by half in the past couple of weeks, consumption have also come down drastically.

Revathy, a homemaker, said she had reduced the purchase of vegetables by half. “We have never seen such a steep hike in vegetable prices in the past few years. Even cabbage which we could buy for ₹15 to ₹20 has gone up to ₹60,” she said.

The amount of vegetables coming to Puducherry markets have also reduced by 40 to 50%. Rama Devi, a wholesaler at Goubert market, said: “Puducherry requires at least 6,000 tonnes of tomatoes per day but we are now buying only 1,200 tonne.”

Perumal, another vegetable and fruit wholesale agent, added: “The hotels and fast food joints which are the major consumers have reduced their purchase and the sale of vegetables has dropped by 60 to 70%. We are, therefore, purchasing only 50% of what we used to earlier.”

Many vegetables to Puducherry are transported from Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. “We get onions, capsicum, brinjal, ladies’ finger from Chikkaballapur and Bengaluru and tomatoes and cucumber from Andhra Pradesh. We were buying five loads of onions from Bengaluru. It has now reduced to three,” he said.

Ms. Devi states that the other major reason for the hike in prices was the drastic fall in the vegetable farming in Puducherry. “Thengaithittu, Ariyankuppam and many villages surrounding Puducherry were known for their vegetable farming. Ladies’ finger, greens, brinjal, pumpkins were grown locally. With the conversion of agricultural land to residential plots, the production has fallen. Now, we have to depend on other states for vegetables,” she says.

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Printable version | Mar 6, 2021 8:55:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/rains-push-up-vegetable-prices/article19991083.ece

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