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No respite from high vegetable prices until July

In the last two weeks, vegetables have become more expensive. While tomatoes cost Rs 4-5 per kg in the wholesale market on May 4, exactly a week later it cost Rs 10-12 a kg.

mumbai Updated: May 19, 2010 01:46 IST
G. Mohiuddin Jeddy

In the last two weeks, vegetables have become more expensive. While tomatoes cost Rs 4-5 per kg in the wholesale market on May 4, exactly a week later it cost Rs 10-12 a kg.

Even the wholesale price of lady’s finger jumped from Rs 10-12 a kg on May 4 to Rs 20-25 on Tuesday.

Wholesale traders blame the lack of agricultural production and the consequent shortage of supply for the hike in prices.

“The water shortage coupled with the load shedding has worsened matters as farmers cannot irrigate the fields. Agricultural production has suffered heavily. This has led to a shortage of vegetables arriving in the market,” said Sanjay Karande, a vegetable wholesaler at the Agricultural Produce Market Committee.

And there seems to be no respite in the immediate future.

“Vegetable prices will remain high till the end of July. It is unlikely that the situation will improve before two months,” said Karande.

Vashi vegetable vendor Kamlesh Gupta said: “As only 40 per cent of the stock is reaching here. Moreover, with the hike in price people are buying just half their requirement.” Consumers, too, are upset.

“After shopping for vegetables the entire purse gets empty. Even the quality is not good. I wonder how the poor are managing,” said Nikita Patel, a homemaker.