PINCHING POCKETS – Vegetable prices on the boil again

A deficient monsoon that even the November rain could not shore up has impacted supply . A kilogram of tomatoes, that was being sold for Rs 20-Rs 30 a few days ago, is now priced between Rs 40 and Rs 60.

Okra and cluster beans command Rs 80 per kg in some markets and Rs 60 in others.Drumsticks, which have limited use in recipes, are a steep Rs 80 to Rs 100 per kg in the retail market and ridge gourd is being sold at Rs 100 per kg.

A few months ago, prices of onion, potato and tomato along with other vegetables had hit the roof. Prices are up by 30% to 50% in some cases, as supplies in Market Yard are falling by the day . A drop in water supply for growing vegetables in and around Pune has resulted in little to harvest, directly affecting the demand-supply ratio.

Annasaheb Ghole of Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) in Pune pegged the shortage of vegetables arriving in the wholesale market at 20%. Retailers said there has been over 40 50% dip in supply of vegetables over the last few days.

“The weak monsoon this year has had a telling effect on water storage in various parts of the state. Farmers were short of water for growing vegetables which has affected supply . The supply has been short for over a month now, though prices of vegetables in the wholesale market went up by about 10% only recently ,“ said Ghole.

The retail market prices showed area-to-area disparity , with some areas recording a 50% increase in the prices of various vegetables as against a few days ago. Another APMC official blamed the increasing demand for the steep prices. “Scarce water for irrigation resulting from a deficient rainfall meant that farmers had no water for growing vegetables,“ he added.

Sanjay Mule, who sells onions and potatoes in Market Yard on wholesale, said they have close to 80 trucks coming into the market each day with onion supply as against the 200-300 trucks that normally come this time of the year.

“Farmers did not stock up water to grow vegetables after the monsoon ended badly . In addition, except for a few days, the state missed the usual cold this season. Lower temperatures are good to maintain the quality of vegetables.The produce coming to the market is sub-standard,“ he said. Sambhaji Phate, an exotic vegetable retailer in Camp, said there is dwindling supply of vegetables on the one hand and rising customers’ needs on the other. “But there isn’t enough supply in the market to meet this demand,“ he added.

Koregaon-based vegetable retailer Pravin Kolhe pegged the supply shortage at 60% in the retail market. “We would get close to five vegetable supplying trucks earlier daily.It is down to two, or three on good days,“ he said.
Source : TOI

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