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Supply constraints spike vegetable prices in city

Staff Reporter

KOCHI: A marginal shortage of supplies triggered by heavy rains in Udhagamandalam and other sourcing centres in Tamil Nadu has triggered a vegetable price spiral here. Rising prices has prompted wholesalers to reduce the quantities they buy on a day-to-day basis, market sources said here. The price of cowpea (achinga) has gone up to Rs.34 a kg in the retail market, thanks largely to a shortage of supply. Supplies have been affected both because of crop destruction in the rains and the inability of the farmers, especially in Udhagamandalam, to harvest their crops.

Price of okra has gone up to Rs.34 a kg in the retail market here. Carrot is selling at Rs.20 a kg while beans is the worst affected with its price going up to Rs.44 a kg. Beans from Bangalore, however, are selling at a slightly lower price. Beans have seen the steepest rise in price with the previous week's price being around Rs.15 a kg in the wholesale market.

Cauliflower is selling at Rs.20 a kg while the price of big onion has gone up by Rs.2 a kg over the last two days. Scientists at Vegetable and Fruit Promotion Council Keralam, who track vegetable prices, said that the immediate cause of the price rise was a shortage of supplies. The rains, which prevented harvesting of crops in some centres, have now abated, however. Ernakulam market sources said that arrivals had not dwindled though wholesalers were not willing to risk on buying normal quantities because of the higher prices. Around 215 tonnes of vegetables arrived at the Ernakulam main market on Wednesday. The price of bananas (nendran), ruling around Rs.15 a kg in the wholesale market, has not shown any sign of fluctuation so far.

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