Concerned about the soaring food inflation? Here is some good news: the rate is expected to go down in the next few weeks after the winter crop comes in.
With food inflation soaring to 12.21% during the week ended October 22, prices of vegetables, pulses and fruits are burning a hole in the common man's pocket.
Wholesalers and retailers attribute the rise to increase in demand during the festive season. However, they claim that the rates have already started to stabilise.
Sanjay Karande, a wholesale vegetable supplier at the Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) in Vashi, said, "Prices soared during the month of Shravan in August and then again near Diwali. Most people abstain from non-vegetarian food during these days and hence the demand for vegetables grows."
"Now that the festive season is over, many people have again started eating non-vegetarian food," he said, adding, "The demand has gone down further since many people have gone out of the city for vacation. Prices are stabilising now."
According to Karnade, consumers can expect vegetable prices to remain constant for at least the next two weeks.
"Next week is Bakri Eid and again vegetable consumption will go down considerably," he said.
Wholesalers claim prices will drop drastically once the winter crop starts coming in. "In fact, some fresh stock from Gujarat has started arriving in the market and in the next few weeks fresh crops from Delhi and other parts of the country will also arrive in large quantities. This will reduce the prices of vegetables," said Rohidas Dagade, another wholesaler.
The biggest difference will be in the prices of winter vegetables such as green peas. "Currently, the price of green peas is Rs100 per kg in the wholesale market. Once the
winter crop comes in, it will come down to around Rs10 to Rs20. Prices of cabbage and cauliflower will also drop," said Dagade.
Agreed Rajesh Gupta, a retailer at sector 9 market of Vashi said, "The market will remain down now as the vegetable season will peak in a few weeks. I don't see prices rising again anytime soon."
Last year, the winter crop was destroyed due to rain after Diwali. This had led to prices of several vegetables, including onions, to soar.
"This year has been a mixed year for business. Due to haphazard rainfall earlier in some parts of vegetable growing regions, prices have fluctuated constantly. Things improved only before the start of Diwali. However, we expect it to be unpredictable even in the following days" said Dagade.