Vegetables have become up to 87 per cent costlier over the past two weeks in the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC), Vashi, near here due to supply disruptions following heavy rain.
Prices of tomato
(hybrid) have risen by 87 per cent since June 19 to trade currently at Rs 28 a kg at the Vashi mandi
In the Kolkata and Bengaluru wholesale markets, tomato
(hybrid) is quoted at Rs 51 a kg and Rs 45 a kg, respectively, according to the National Horticulture Board (NHB). In both markets, tomato
prices have risen by 60 per cent over the last week.
While a price rise during the first spell of the monsoon
rainfall is usual, the spurt this year is abnormal.
“Stockists in Maharashtra are supplying vegetables to mandis
in Madhya Pradesh and Delhi for better realisation. This has reduced vegetables supply to Vashi. Since the government allowed free movement of fruits and vegetable from the production centre to any mandi
across India, prices are moving up across the country,” said Vasudev Gupta, a Vashi-based vegetable stockist. Last year, the government delisted fruits and vegetables from APMCs, which allowed farmers to sell their produce in markets
of their choice. While the government’s aim was to benefit farmers, they continue to sell their output to stockists, who sell the produce in markets
of their choice.
Protests in early June for farm loan waivers
resulted in tonnes of fruits and vegetables being dumped on roads. This was followed by monsoon
spoilage. Now, diversion to mandis
further afield has reduced supply to local markets.
Prices of cabbage
have jumped by 80 per cent over the last two weeks to trade currently at Rs 18 a kg. Brinjal
(round) and cauliflower also moved in tandem to Rs 22 a kg and Rs 20 a kg now from Rs 10 a kg and Rs 14 a kg, respectively, two weeks ago. An APMC
functionary also pointed to a sudden increase in export demand from West Asia after Ramzan. Arrivals of peas (watana) have been low due to reduced supply from producing regions.
After the initial burst, rainfall has declined in Aurangabad, Jalgaon and other vegetable-growing regions in Maharashtra. “Farmers may need to re-sow seeds if rain does not resume within a week and the cost of production will go up,” the APMC