Kerala

Coronavirus | Vegetable prices start inching up in Thiruvananthapuram

The crowded vegetable market at Chalai in the city after vegetables reached there on Wednesday.

The crowded vegetable market at Chalai in the city after vegetables reached there on Wednesday.  

Delayed arrivals, restrictions on inter-State movement of lorries to blame

As the curbs imposed in view of the nationwide lockdown tighten, vegetables prices are going up in the city.

Shallots which cost ₹75 on Monday had increased to ₹110 on Tuesday. On Wednesday, onions cost ₹40, while tomato prices had gone up by ₹10.

Vegetable vendors say prices of only a few vegetables have gone up. Fresh stocks arrived on Wednesday, and it will be adequate for a day or two. Beyond that, it will be difficult to say what the situation will be if fresh truckloads of vegetables do not arrive from other States, he said.

K. Chidambaram, a vegetable and fruit commission agent in the Chala market and also president of the Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi’s vegetable wing, too says there is approximately a 30% increase in prices. Onions cost ₹24 to ₹30, while tomatoes cost ₹35.There is enough stock in the market for a couple of days, he says. However, shutdown of markets in other States, combined with restrictions along the inter-State border that lead to vehicles being turned away, will likely drive prices up.

Cannot be stocked

Unlike rice or pulses, vegetables cannot be stocked. Hence, it is imperative that the State government along with the government of other States act to remove any hurdles in transport of vegetables, or the people will suffer, he said.

A wholesale trader at the Ambalathara market says the restrictions on supply of vegetables should be eased, especially as the State is very dependent on arrivals from outside. “Prices were lower on Wednesday than the day before. However, once the number of loads dips, prices will go north.”

Short

Horticorp managing director J. Sajeev says supply of vegetables is short owing to checks at the inter-State border but the situation is expected to stabilise in a few days in the wake of government intervention.

Horticorp, he says, is focussing on promoting the produce of local farmers and is procuring these. Vegetables such as brinjal, lady’s finger, and onions which come from other States are in short supply. Panic buying is not helping matters. However, prices will stabilise soon.

Horticorp’s prices, he says, are very competitive with shallots priced at ₹70 and tomatoes at ₹22. Shelves at its outlets were empty by afternoon, he said.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 2:12:52 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/vegetable-prices-start-inching-up/article31167598.ece

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