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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014

Soaring veggie prices still pinching pockets in Mumbai

Prajakta Chavan Rane , Hindustan Times  Mumbai, September 20, 2013
First Published: 08:33 IST(20/9/2013) | Last Updated: 08:37 IST(20/9/2013)

After a brief respite during the festive season, vegetable prices have once again gone through the roof this week. The reason —untimely heavy rain in maharashtra.

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Prices of almost all vegetables have increased by at least 40-50%. While the cost of onions touched a new high of Rs70-80 a kg in the retail market, good quality green peas were either not available or were being sold for Rs200 a kg.

Heavy rain in rural areas such as Junnar, Manchar, Ambegaon, Narayangaon, Nashik, Satar and Sangli has led to a reduced vegetable supply to the city, which has an average requirement of around 550 vegetable vehicles. However, on Wednesday only 478 vehicles had arrived.

“The rain affected supply of cluster beans and French beans as the farmers avoided entering the fields. Increase in price of green peas is because production in the state has stopped. Now, we are depending on the supply from Himachal Pradesh,” said a senior official from the agriculture department, adding that instead of 20, four vehicles carrying green peas arrived on Wednesday.

The vegetable demand in the city is likely to go up further during the ongoing Pitrupaksha, a 15-day period to honour ancestors.

“With increase in demand, prices are likely to go up further,” the official said.

SK Goel, additional chief secretary, agriculture department, said there was no hoarding of onions by traders.

“We were expecting onion from Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu to land into the market and stabilise prices here, but that hasn’t happened. Only stock from Karnataka and imported onions from Pakistan have reached the city till now,” he said, adding that they expect that the situation to improve in the next 15 days.

(Inputs by Sayli Udas Mankikar)

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