Much to the relief of consumers across the district, prices of most of vegetables including onion and potato have come down due to improvement in supply from local farmers. Vegetable traders attributed it to the seasonal trend and said the situation will prevail till the end of winter.
While the price of brinjal dropped from Rs 40 to Rs 20 per kg this week, cauliflower, whose price rose to Rs 70 per kg last month, is now selling at Rs 30 per kg. Similarly, tomato, which was sold at Rs 60 per kg in November, is now priced at Rs 25. The cost of pumpkin, a fortnight back was Rs 25 per kg but it is now priced at Rs 10.
The decline in prices is because of increase in local production. The rate of lady’s finger is still high as the local farmers are yet to harvest the crop, said Prafulla Jena, a vegetable grower of Kendrapara. “The prices of vegetables had soared in the past few weeks. Though we did not reduce our purchase, now we can afford to purchase more,” said Ramesh Sahoo of Kendrapada.
A vegetable vendor Farik Ali said the price of tomato has halved from Rs 20 to Rs 10 per kg this week while that of onion has drastically come down from `30 to `15 a kg due to its harvest by local farmers. “In the past few weeks, my regular customers had scaled down the purchase of vegetables. But I am expecting everything to get back to normal,” Farik said.
A vegetable farmer Bhikari Das, who had raised the local variety of onions in half acre of his land, said, “I harvested six quintals of onion recently. Though the quality of onion is not good compared to that of Maharashtra and other States, I managed to sell it at `15 per kg in the local market.”
Vegetables sell at a higher price in cities and malls as the vegetable traders from Cuttack, Bhubaneswar and other areas buy vegetables from here at a lower price. “Middlemen plays a major role in vegetable trade because the farmers try to sell their produce as early as possible after the harvest,” said Prafulla Sahoo, a vegetable farmer of Patkura.