Rains drive veggie prices up; supply of greens impacted

Traders say there has been widespread crop damage affecting quality of vegetables

 

Heavy rains, lashing the city and other parts of the State for over two weeks, have led to widespread crop damage, especially that of vegetables. This, in turn, has driven prices up. Tomatoes, carrots and capsicum have already breached the ₹100 mark per a kilo in the retail market, putting them out of reach for many families. Some varieties of coriander, too, are retailing at anywhere between ₹90-₹100 a bunch.

 

Other vegetables are also priced on the higher side, with citizens citing lack of supply in most shops. “There is no supply to the market. There is usually a dip in supply of vegetables and greens to the Bengaluru market in the winter, and prices shoot up. But this year the dip is more pronounced due to rains. While transport networks are disrupted, there is also crop damage,” said a senior procurement officer at a leading retail grocery chain in the city.

Kolar, Chickballapur, Bengaluru Rural and Ramanagaram districts surrounding the city — a vegetable cultivation belt — have been hit by heavy rains for the past two weeks. Even districts like Kolar and Chickballapur that are usually drought prone are seeing heavy rains damaging tomato crop.

“Anecdotally, we can say there is widespread crop damage. Add to this, even at such steep prices, the quality of most of the vegetables is not good. For instance, most of the onions available in the market are wet and smaller in size. Onions supplied from within the State are wet, and are also from the end of the season. But onions coming from Maharashtra are of a good quality,” said a senior onion trader in Yeshwanthpur APMC Yard.

Relief only by the new year?

Though there might be some minor relief a few days after the rains stop, a reprieve from soaring prices may come to consumers only by the New Year, industry insiders predict. Tomatoes are a three-month crop and likewise most vegetables will take at least a month or two, for the farmers to overcome crop damage in this cycle, sow and harvest the next crop. This means, it will at least the new year before the present shortage in supply is overcome and the prices stabilise, sources said.

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