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Your meal is getting costlier

A simple vegetarian fare of dal, rice, vegetables and chapattis is costing you more every month. Prices of vegetables have almost doubled in the last two months while pulses and foodgrain are costing 25 per cent more.

mumbai Updated: Nov 06, 2009 01:09 IST
G. Mohiuddin Jeddy

A simple vegetarian fare of dal, rice, vegetables and chapattis is costing you more every month.

Prices of vegetables have almost doubled in the last two months while pulses and foodgrain are costing 25 per cent more.

Lady’s finger that was available for Rs 28 a kg a fortnight ago now costs Rs 40 a kg. Capsicum is up to Rs 70 a kg from Rs 40 a kg while prices of the humble brinjal have doubled from Rs 20 to Rs 40.

Lack of rain and consequent water shortage in several villages across Maharashtra are the reasons for this surge in prices.

Delayed rains in some parts of the state worsened the situation by destroying the crop.

Sanjay Karande, a vegetable wholesaler at the Navi Mumbai Agricultural Produce Market Committee market said, “Arrivals in the market are down because production has been hit. There is hardly any water for the fields.”

Karande said that while rains were needed in places like Nashik and Pune, it rained in Satara, Sangli and Kolhapur instead and destroyed the crops there.

Traders say the situation is unlikely to improve any time soon as fresh cultivation will take place only next monsoon. Arrivals from other states will help only marginally.

Karande said, “It could help a bit, but the situation will not alter very soon.”

Prices of pulses like moong dal, urad dal and tur dal have also witnessed a steep rise.

Sharad Maru, president of Grains, Rice, Oilseeds Merchant Association (GROMA), said, “The moong dal crop this year was badly affected and hence there is a shortage. There is shortage of urad dal as well.”

Maru said prices of tur dal would reduce when the new crop comes in December-January.

“India anyway always has a deficit of pulses,” said Maru. “This time imports too are not adequate and hence the problem. The poor have to suffer.”

Wholesalers say things are not expected to worsen any further but retailers warn of difficult days ahead.

“Prices of pulses, wheat and sugar are all rising and we fear the worst,” Tejas Shah, a Vashi-based retailer, said.

“Traders have told us that there is a heavy shortage and prices will go up further.”