BENGALURU: With the supply of vegetables crossing three times the demand, vegetable prices have drastically dropped. Experts say that at least for the next two months the markets are expected to be filled with vegetables costing fraction of their prices prevailing a few days ago. In Karnataka, vegetable growers are more in Kolar, Bengaluru Rural, Chikballapur, Chitradurga, Ramanagara, Mysuru, Mandya, Chamarajanagar, Hassan and other places. With good rain this monsoon, growers could get good yield too. The price of many vegetables has come around Rs 20 per kilo which was more than Rs 70 a few months back. While the tomato has declined to Rs 11 per kilo, pumpukin is Rs 13 per kg, raddish is Rs 18, snake gourd is Rs 18, while beetroot and potato are Rs 22 per kg, according to the Horticultural Producers’ Cooperative Marketing and Processing Society (HOPCOMS) price list.
Former additional director (Fruits), Dr S V Hittalamani, explained that this was because the state witnessed good monsoon rainfall in 2017. The lakes and rivers had filled, and groundwater had charged up.With this, farmers used borewell for water and it was an advantage for vegetable growers to grow larger quantities of vegetables. “If there is more supply than demand, naturally the price declines. This is what has happened now,’’ he said.
Citing an example, Hittalamani said tomatoes grown on 6,000 hectares of land yielded around one lakh tones of tomatoes. But this year, with more farmers using their land for growing tomatoes, they have used 18,000 hectares of land and grown three lakh tones of tomatoes as compared to last year. “If the quantity is thrice, one can imagine the price slash. In winter season, tomatoes normally grow. This year, growers in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Maharashtra have also grown good quantities of tomatoes. This means there is no demand for our tomatoes in these states,” he said.
People, vendors happy
Aruna, a resident of Rajarajeshwarinagar bought carrot, onion, potato, peas, beans, chilies and curry leaves, all half kg to one kg. “Even after buying so much, my bill was hardly D100. I was happy to buy veggies this cheap,” she said. She said just a couple of months back, she used to spend D250 for the same quantity of vegetables. The vendors too are happy. “Carrot was D90 per kg just a couple of months ago, now it has dropped to D45. Similarly, potato was D80 per kg and it has fallen to D22. People do come to buy vegetables even if the price is increased,” Rudresh, a vegetable vendor at Vijayanagar said. Another vendor, Mahesh at Shivajinagar, said customers are happy. “We too are happy that they are buying more in quantity,’’ he said.
From less supply to tomato glut
According to deputy director of horticulture department Chandrashekar, just a few months ago there was demand for tomatoes as there was less supply. The price of tomatoes had reached D90 per kg. It was then that farmers started growing tomoatoes thinking there would be good price in the market. Tomatoes need three months to grow. There was good rain, that added as an advantage to them. There is good supply and price has naturally come down,’’ he said. In summer, with some virus or the other, the yield of tomatoes will come down, and the price of tomatoes will increase during that time.