BANGALORE: The prices of most vegetables have skyrocketed in the city due to incessant rain in the past few weeks.
However, the prices of fruits have remained more or less constant.
The prices of beans, potatoes and tomatoes have shot up. Leafy vegetables, such as coriander and spinach, are the worst hit.
According to Mahadevaiah, a vegetable vendor in Banashankari, at least 60 per cent of standing vegetables parished in the rain. “Considering that we get only the remaining 40 per cent of the yield, we have no option but to sell vegetables at higher prices. The customers’ expectations have not reduced because of the rain and they want the best. If we have to make a profit, we have to sell vegetables at a higher cost as the availability is low,” he said.
Another vendor Girish said the rates of vegetables vary from time to time and sometimes in a single day it may vary in the morning and evening.
“The rain has definitely had an effect. Considering the fact that it has been raining relentlessly since the past week or so farmers have definitely borne the brunt,” he said.
However, this spurt in the cost has not gone down too well among consumers. Bharathi Unnikrishnan, a resident of Basavanagudi, said such a spike in the prices of vegetables could have an adverse effect.
“Vegetables are one commodity that people will buy, regardless of the cost. But it becomes difficult when there is a sudden spurt in their prices. It rains every year and crops get destroyed. Is there nothing that the government can do to help the farmers from preventing wastage? At the end, it is the farmers and the consumers who suffer,” she said.
Another consumer Rajamma said if India can send a mission to Mars at a very low cost, then scientists can very well think of a way to minimise wastage during the monsoon.
Horticultural Producer’s Cooperative Marketing and Processing Society Limited (HOPCOMS) president H K Nagaveni told Express that the wastage is inevitable during the monsoon.
“In case it does not rain the ensuing days, the price of vegetables will naturally come down. However, with the cyclone that has hit the coast of Andhra Pradesh, one can never tell. Only those farmers who have grown their crops in greenhouses have benefited. However, this requires a substantial investment, and not everybody can afford to have a greenhouse,” he said.
When asked president of the KR Market Vegetable Traders’ Association R V Gopi blamed the retailers for the rise in price. Though he agreed that the prices of most vegetables have gone up due to rain, he said there is a difference between wholesale and retail rates. “The prices of leafy vegetables have definitely shot up as there has been a lot of wastage. Beans has also taken a beating. However, the retailers are selling vegetables at a very high price, citing expenses such as transport, coolie charges and others. Though we have advised them to keep a low profit at such times, they don’t seem to listen,” he said.