June 16, 2019
Kochi: Fall in vegetables production in Tamil Nadu has hit Kerala hard as prices have started spiralling across the State.
Production of vegetables, fruits and flowers has been affected in Tamil Nadu due to shortage of water for irrigation and crop destruction due to extreme heat.
This has created a demand-supply gap, resulting in a slump in vegetable volumes coming from Tamil Nadu.
The cost of all vegetables is now on the higher side.
“It is increasing on a daily basis. It has become difficult to keep changing the price each day,” Danish, a vegetable wholesaler in Kottayam told The Covai Post.
“Majority of the vegetables come from Tamil Nadu. We get some vegetables from Karnataka.
Price of beans has remained at a all-time high of above Rs 100 a kg. Owing to this, local demand has fallen considerably. Therefore, traders make only nominal purchases.
Potato, which was about Rs 20 plus a few days ago, now sells at more than double the cost, Danish added.
This has put wholesale traders and retailers in a tight spot. “If vegetables bought at this rate remain unsold, it would be a loss. The only option before us is to get vegetables sold at lower prices hitting our profit margin.”
Though price of onion coming from Maharashtra has also gone up, it still remains affordable.
But the situation would turn worse by Onam if rain continues to evade Tamil Nadu, he said.
Another retailer Pradeep said he was managing to sell vegetables even at a higher cost and refused to reduce his profit margin.
He said the cost of some vegetables that come from Cumbum and Theni continues to remain in the affordable zone of the common man.
Pradeep said he got supply from local farmers of some items like nenthran plantain, snake gourd and bitter gourd among others.
But supply was not consistent with demand as it was almost nil during the rainy season, Pradeep said.
Another trader on condition of anonymity said the State Government’s plan to provide cheap vegetables has not been successful.
If Vegetables Fruits Promotion Council of Kerala (VFPCK) promoted by the Government was working in an effective manner, prices would not have gone up, he said.