Veggie prices head north as weather blamed for supplies

Tomatoes have taken the biggest hit: local vendors are selling them for nearly Rs 100 per kg.
Vegetable prices across Delhi-NCR have skyrocketed burdening the common man’s budget.
Vegetable prices across Delhi-NCR have skyrocketed burdening the common man’s budget.Photo |Express

NEW DELHI: Vegetable prices across Delhi-NCR have skyrocketed burdening the common man’s budget. Vendors and wholesalers first blamed the heatwave and now the rains in many parts of the country for the supply disruption sending the prices of the kitchen staple northward in retail markets across the region.

Tomatoes have taken the biggest hit: local vendors are selling them for nearly Rs 100 per kg.

A couple of weeks ago, the prices varied between Rs 25 and Rs 40 a kg. Prices of other vegetables too have increased twice-thrice in retail markets. Market experts say no relief is expected in the next two-three weeks. The supply has been hit due to the ongoing rains.

“Weather variations have led to a big plunge on the supply side. Hoarding is playing its part, but the government isn’t doing much. No one can understand such an astounding rise in the prices of common-use vegetables such as onions, potatoes, garlic and lemon,” said Dushyant Naagar, a farmer rights activist. “The government should strictly check hoarding to bring the rates down,” said Naagar.

“Supply rates at Azadpur wholesale market, Okhla, Keshopur and Ghazipur mandis have doubled these days.The mandis receive tomatoes for nearly Rs 40-60 a kg at wholesale price. Retailers sell the same veggies for Rs 80 and Rs 100 depending on quality as well as locality,” said a former office-bearer of Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC).

“Buyers won’t get relief in the next two-three weeks if rains continue in the neighbouring states,” he said.

Amit Gupta, joint secretary of New Delhi Traders’ Association, said price rise has also hit restaurants/hotels who cannot pass the additional burden to customers. “Small traders suffer more,” said Gupta.

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