November 15, 2015
After onions and pulses, it is now the turn of vegetable prices to shoot up. The prices, in fact, have been on the rise for nearly two months now.
Wholesale trader S. Basheer said, “Usually, I buy 4000 bags of small onions from Udumalpet and Rasipuram. But this time, due to heavy rains, the crops were all damaged and I could get only 1000 bags. Onions are now priced at Rs.60 a kg. They were once sold at Rs.30. Likewise the prices of green chilies, tomatoes, beans, and carrots have doubled. We usually get these vegetables from Ooty. But, heavy rains have blocked the roads and we are now buying them from Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Though the prices have increased, the sales are as usual. Customers have been forced to spend their money wisely.”
Retailers too are bearing the brunt of the price rise, as the profit margin has drastically reduced. T. Soundarrajan, a retailer said, “I have removed all the price tags. Customers now buy only quarter kilo of vegetables. Even curry leaves are priced at Rs.40-50 per kilo. Unlike before, I’m unable to give them away for free now.”
According to K. Ramakrishnan, Deputy Director of Tamilnadu Agricultural University, “The crops which were cultivated in green house (tomatoes, cucumber, and chili) have not been damaged by the rains. Vegetables like brinjal and carrot are in production stage and are safe. Prices have increased only because of the poor transport facilities. This will continue until the rains end.”
According to C.V. Janarthanan, a private hostel owner, “For the past few months, prices of pulses have been steadily increasing. Now it is the turn of the vegetables. A kilo of drumsticks (about seven) now cost Rs.100, coconuts cost Rs.17 apiece.”