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HindustanTimes Sat,26 Jul 2014

Rain sets veggie prices on fire

Shaswati Das, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, June 21, 2013
First Published: 00:30 IST(21/6/2013) | Last Updated: 02:44 IST(21/6/2013)

If the threat of rising flood levels was not enough, consumers across the city have to grapple with skyrocketing prices of vegetables.

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With the prices of essential vegetables such as onions and tomatoes set to rise by 100-200% in the coming week, consumers are struggling to keep household finances in check.

"Over the past three days, the prices of vegetables have shot up. There are also fewer retailers now and the vegetables are not fresh. It is very distressing because it puts a lot of pressure on our finances. The burden of climatic factors invariably burns a hole in our pockets," said Neeta Kaushal, a resident of Nirman Vihar.

With Yamuna levels crossing the danger mark, vegetables grown along the belt have been destroyed. Retailers say the rise in prices is largely due to high procurement prices from wholesalers and farmers because of the destruction of harvest caused by the flooding of the Yamuna and flash floods in Uttarakhand.

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"The supply of vegetables has gone down drastically because of the floods and rain. Because of this, the price of vegetables has gone up. Demand for vegetables such as onions, tomatoes and potatoes always remains constant. We pay more to wholesalers to procure the products and have no option but to charge more from consumers," said a retailer at Mayur Vihar.

Officials claimed that green vegetables grown along the Yamuna belt as well as other farm produce have been severely damaged due to the rains, prompting them to procure produce from other states, thereby raising costs significantly.

"Green vegetables that are sold in the city are grown along the Yamuna belt - all of which has been destroyed because of the flooding. Tomatoes are procured from Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, which have also been hit badly. The fields have been totally flooded and sourcing these vegetables from other states has pushed up costs heavily," said Anil Malhotra, member, Agricultural Produce Market Committee.


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