BENGALURU: Before it was onions, and now garlic that is giving citizens grief. The reason: this festive season, a kg of garlic costs Rs 232, while peeled garlic costs Rs 267 per kg. Horticultural Producers’ Cooperative Marketing and Processing Society (HoPComs) officials said that while good quality garlic is usually quite expensive, now, even low-quality garlic is no less than Rs 120 per kg.
B N Prasad, MD, HOPCOMS, told TNIE the price of garlic has been steadily increasing in the last one-and-a-half months. “Even the price of onion did not rise this much. Earlier, in Bengaluru, the price never crossed Rs 80 in the retail market,” he said.
The costs of some kitchen staples, such as onion, garlic and ginger, have been on the higher side of late. However, the prices of both potatoes and tomatoes are stable now. According to HOPCOMS, a kg of onion costs Rs 54, potato Rs 29, ginger Rs 200 and tomato Rs 34.
Prasad said that garlic is not grown much in Karnataka, and is imported from Madhya Pradesh. He also added that the price of onions, which was high till the end of September, has now started to drop. This is because onions are grown in Karnataka, and the price will only drop further in the coming days. To ensure that potato prices are stable, potatoes coming in from Agra are being stored in cold storage units, and it’s the Hassan crops that are being released in the market.
In the case of other vegetables, HOPCOMS said that in general, prices are on the higher side for the last two weeks or so, and have not come down yet. Officials maintained that the price rise has nothing to do with the festival season, as it is assumed, but actually due to continuous rainfall.
Unprecedented rainfall in Maharashtra, North Karnataka and in the outskirts of Bengaluru (Ramanagara, Anekal, Chikkaballapur, Doddaballapur and other areas) is the reason behind the price rise, Prasad said.
Ashraf U F, a vegetable vendor in Indiranagar, said that during festival season, vendors tend to make a little more profit.
“Vegetables are a daily necessity, and during festive season, prices hike by about Rs 5 or Rs 10. Though it is not a big amount, it is sufficient for us,” he said.
Beulah amma, another vegetable vendor at Halasuru market, said that she has been getting 30-50 customers per day for the past one week, and has been able to make enough money to get through the festival season.
“We make a profit of Rs 100-Rs 200 per day during the festival season, unlike other days. However, this year, since it has been raining, we have also lost a few customers, as they prefer to shop in big retail shops,” she said.