HYDERABAD: Unfavourable weather conditions and disasters like floods and cyclones at various vegetable production centres across the country have drastically reduced vegetable supply to Telangana which led to a sharp rise in vegetable prices in Hyderabad.
Bowenpally market yard, one of the biggest in the State, receives at least 1,200 metric tonne of vegetables in November. But the current quantity of vegetables at the market is only 980 metric tonne. “Unstable climate and delay in sowing seem to be the major reasons for the mess,” said Padma Harsha, deputy director of marketing department at Bowenpally yard.
A majority of the vegetables at the market like potato, beans and carrot are supplied by West Bengal, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu. Citing more reasons for the price hike, Padma added, “The West Bengal government imposed restrictions on potato exports till recently and some portion of our supply from Gujarat and Tamil Nadu is being diverted to the cyclone-hit areas in Andhra Pradesh due to high demand after Hudhud.”
Telangana appears to be highly dependant on other States for vegetables. According to the data available with the Agriculture Department, only 25 per cent of the total required vegetables are being produced in the State. The State government launched a pilot project ‘Mana Ooru Mana Kuragayalu’ to boost the vegetable production here. But it is yet to begin the production.
Under this project, there are 10 special vegetable clusters in Mahabubnagar, Medak, Ranga Reddy and Nalgonda districts. But it takes at least one more month for them to commence vegetable supply to Hyderabad. An official from Horticulture Department, Medak, said, “Only two clusters in our district have started production so far. Rest will begin only at the end of this month.”
Exploiting the high demand for vegetables in Hyderabad, some private retail shops in the city are drastically increasing the prices. There is at least `5 to `10 of difference between the prices of Rythu Bazars and retail shops for almost all vegetables.
Tomato, which remained costliest for a long time in the beginning of this year has now settled at `12 per kg. Now beans occupied the top place in the price list. French beans cost around `48 per kg and field beans are available for `42 per kg. Other highly consumed vegetables like brinjal and ladies finger also saw a sudden growth in their prices and now cost `34 and `38 per kg respectively.