JEYPORE: The onions brought tears while other vegetables made a hole in the pocket. The common man had a difficult time filling the vegetable bag with budget going awry. With new crop flooding the market and the prices crashing, the table has been turned on the vegetable growers.
While earlier most vegetables were priced at ` 20, they are now available at as low as ` 5 a kg. With common vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower and tomato flooding the market, it has become a problem of plenty for the tribals who are unable to recover the labour cost.
Reports said daily production has touched 100 trucks which is double the market demand.
Bumper crop in other districts has affected the demand and supply ratio with little scope of selling the produce in the neighbouring markets. “There is little scope of selling the vegetables outside with all districts registering a good crop season,” said a tribal wholesaler, Guru Khilo.
What has them worried is that vegetables from Jeypore, Koraput, Malkangiri, Rayagada, Nabarangpur and Umerkote are flooding the local markets here. “We have not been able to recover the labour cost, let alone making profit,” said J. Ramesh, a farmer of Kothariput.
A cold storage could have saved the day and allowed them to bargain a good price later. Instead, the farmers are now forced to sell their produce before they start rotting. The absence of price regulation by the RMC authority seems to be the last nail in the coffin of marketing vegetables.
“The prices of vegetables depend on local demand and supply. It would be difficult to monitor the price without proper coordination between different agencies,” said Umesh Samantry, secretary of Jeypore RMC.