Vegetable prices skyrocket in North Odisha
By Hemant Kumar Rout | ENS | Published: 07th November 2013 01:12 PM |
Vegetable prices have witnessed a sudden rise in the market following the flash flood induced by Phailin which damaged nearly 1.5 lakh houses and properties worth over Rs 750 crore in Balasore and Mayurbhanj districts of Odisha.
While onion is selling at Rs 60 to Rs 80 per kg, potato is priced at Rs 25 per kg in the suburban markets and it is Rs 30 in remote areas. Remote and rural areas had witnessed even a greater rise for over a fortnight as there was lack of connectivity between the district headquarters town and suburban markets.
While brinjal, bitter gourd and tomato are sold at Rs 60 per kg, bitter gourd and ladyfinger cost Rs 80 per kilo each. Due to unusual price rise of vegetables, flood victims living in make-shift tents on roads and highlands are forced to take only rice.
“We have lost all our belongings in the flood. As the water entered our house suddenly, we were not even able to preserve food. Now we are depending on relief rice. Forget about vegetables, we do not even have money to purchase potato and onion. We are taking rice with tamarind or mango pickle,” said Gopala Singh, a daily wager of Julamanda village.
Not only in rural areas, vegetable prices have increased in Balasore and Baripada towns also. Tomato, brinjal, pointed gourd and bitter gourd are priced at Rs 50 per kg while lady’s finger is selling at Rs 60.
|Vegetables||Town price||Rural price|
|Potato||Rs 25||Rs 30|
|Onion||Rs 50||Rs 60|
|Brinjal||Rs 50||Rs 60|
|Bitter gourd||Rs 60||Rs 80|
|Ladyfinger||Rs 60||Rs 80|
|Parbal||Rs 50||Rs 60|
|Tomato||Rs 50||Rs 60|
|Beans||Rs 80||Rs 100|
|Green Chili||Rs 100||Rs 120|
|Coriander leaves||Rs 120||Rs 200|
The north region worst hit in the recent floods is known as vegetable ‘mandi’ of the coastal district of Balasore. The district used to get over 50 per cent of its vegetable requirement from four northern blocks.
“During rainy season, vegetables from our area flood the Balasore market. But now, we are struggling to arrange even 250 gm of vegetables for consumption of our family,” said Sujay Das of Chormara village whose vegetable crops grown over one acre have been washed away.
In fact, vegetable crops in around 10,000 acres in Balasore and Mayurbhanj districts has been damaged in the floods. However, traders blame the shortage in supply of vegetables from neighbouring States and diesel price hike for the rise in vegetable price.
They also said detention of vegetable and potato laden trucks in West Bengal escalated the price here. "The prices shot up due to detention of vegetable laden trucks in West Bengal. Now we hope the condition may change as the State government has taken up the issue with its WB counterpart," said Rabindra Behera, a wholesaler.
Meanwhile people who are reeling under the effects of soaring vegetable prices said it was difficult to meet the demands of their daily requirement. “While earlier we were purchasing one kilo potato and half a kilo vegetable, now it has been cut down to 250 gms,” said Baikuntha Mallick, a daily wager.
Traders anticipate a further increase during the ensuing marriage season. Sridhar Behera, a trader said the hike in vegetable prices also had a
bearing effect on their business as the consumers have slashed down their budget.
President of perishable goods association Ajay Kumar Biswal attributed
the rising prices to short supply. “The price would remain high and there is no hope that it will come down as the marriage season is on the cards,” he said.
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