Vegetable prices have jumped between 25 per cent and 60 per cent over the past month across Maharashtra because of a sharp decline in their supply after unseasonal rainfall resulted in crop damage and also delayed harvesting.
The wholesale price of onions in Mumbai on Monday was Rs 60 a kg, a 94 per cent jump from Rs 31 a kg on October 15. Similarly, cabbage became costlier by 44 per cent to trade Rs 23 a kg; it was Rs 16 a kg four weeks ago.
Cauliflower reported a 64 per cent jump in its wholesale price in nearly one month to cost Rs 23 a kg on Monday, as against Rs 14 a kg on October 15.
In the retail market, green vegetable prices have jumped up to 100 per cent in the past four weeks. “The availability of vegetables has gone down due to fewer arrivals in wholesale mandis. Their supply was disrupted because of low yields and high spoilage. Consumers will have to bear high prices for some time,” said Shyam Bhimraoji Karlekar, chairman, APMC Wardha, one of the largest sellers of vegetables in the state.
Meanwhile, the Income Tax Department surveyed Onion traders in Maharashtra, Delhi and Madhya Pradesh, following reports of alleged hoarding of the commodity, officials said.
Sowing of vegetable seeds was affected because of floods in several agrarian parts of Maharashtra. Later, farmers used available vegetables as fodder for their animals in the wake of the deluge.
Besides, fresh vegetables currently have even less shelf life because fields are still muddy.
In contrast, prices of most vegetable declined in Delhi because of aggressive selling by stockists, which according to local traders, was because of was little outward movement of vegetables from the city in the wake of massive air pollution in the national capital.
Cauliflower, for example, reported a 57 per cent price decline in the last two weeks to trade currently at Rs 10.75 a kg. Cabbage, chillies, and peas also reported a massive decline in their prices.