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Why vegetable prices are set to remain high

July 15, 2014 08:54 IST

Why vegetable prices are set to remain high

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Dilip Kumar Jha in Mumbai

Spiralling vegetable prices are likely to remain firm for at least a month, till the new seasonal crop comes to the wholesale markets.

The delayed rainfall this monsoon season will mean a proportionate delay in sowing, harvesting and supply.

Data from the National Horticultural Research and Development Foundation showed the price of onion has risen about five per cent in the past three weeks, to trade at Rs 18.50 a kg at the benchmark Lasalgaon (near Nashik) mandi.

Arrivals fell to 1,000 tonnes on Monday, compared with 1,735 tonnes three weeks ago.

Bhindi fell fell 33 per cent in nearly three weeks to trade at Rs 24 a kg at the Vashi APMC on Monday, from Rs 36 a kg on June 26.

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Photographs: Reuters

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Potato prices at the Agra mandi were Rs 16.20 a kg on Monday, compared with Rs 15 a kg three weeks earlier.

Arrivals were 720 tonnes, compared to 980 tonnes on June 26.

Tomato was Rs 42 a kg on Monday, compared to Rs 14 a kg three weeks earlier. Capsicum and green peas also moved up to sell at Rs 32 a kg and Rs 80 a kg from their respective levels of Rs 22 a kg and Rs 62 a kg three weeks before.

“Harvesting of the kharif crop will be delayed by a month due to delay in the monsoon rain.

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Photographs: Rupak De Chaudhuri/Reuters

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“For now, arrivals of most of vegetables have declined. Unless the new season crop hits mandis, which is expected in a month, vegetable prices will remain high,” said Avinash Patil, head of the vegetable section at the wholesale market in Vashi, Navi Mumbai.

Traders have shifted focus from the main vegetables to supplements.

“Today traders are bringing tomato all the way from Bangalore to sell in Maharashtra.

“In comparison with 300 tonnes of daily consumption for Mumbai and nearby towns, total arrivals are just 200 tonnes,” he added.

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Image: Traders have shifted focus from the main vegetables to supplements.
Photographs: Reuters

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Prices of some vegetables, however, remain subdued due to fear of government action on stockpiling.

Bhindi fell fell 33 per cent in nearly three weeks to trade at Rs 24 a kg at the Vashi APMC on Monday, from Rs 36 a kg on June 26.

Cauliflower fell 40 per cent to Rs 12 a kg on Monday.

“Consumers will have to bear with high prices at least for one more month,” said Sanjay Bhujbal, a vegetable stockiest at Vashi.

“We have urged the government to create its own supply chains, where co-operatives can intervene, with budgetary support from the government,” said Virendra Singh, chairman of the National Co-operative Consumers’ Federation of India.

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Image: Prices of some vegetables remain subdued due to fear of government action on stockpiling.
Photographs: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

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