ROURKELA: By this time of the year, fresh and cheap vegetables flood markets of the city and the district. However, this year soaring vegetable prices are burning hole in common man’s pocket. Most of the vegetables are priced between Rs 80 and Rs 100 per kg, throwing the kitchen budget out of gear.
Blame it on delayed cultivation of vegetables in kharif crop season. The ongoing holy month of Kartik is also responsible to some extent as a sizeable population is avoiding consumption of non-vegetarian foods.
Retail markets in the city are selling carrot, sweet potato and green chilly at Rs 100 per kg. Capsicum, cauliflower, beans and even lady’s finger are priced at Rs 80 per kg.
Cow pea, pointed gourd, ivy gourd, bitter gourd and brinjal are selling for Rs 60 per kg. Tomato and cabbage are equally priced at Rs 50 per kg. Price of cucumber has doubled in a week and is sold at Rs 40 per kg.
Onion is selling for Rs 70 per kg, potato price has seen a quantum jump at Rs 24 per kg. One piece of bottle gourd costs Rs 20 while garlic and ginger are priced Rs 180 and Rs 140 per kg, respectively. Coriander leaf is costlier at Rs 200 per kg. Only pumpkin and papaya are priced at affordable Rs 40 and Rs 20 per kg, respectively.
While late cultivation in the kharif season led to have caused the spiral in prices, a vendor at Panposh market claimed that after Kartik Purnima, prices would moderate.
Panposh District Agriculture Officer (DAO) N Mahanta said in Nuagaon and adjacent vegetable growing blocks, cultivation took place very late due to erratic monsoon behaviour.
He said monsoon started late and extended till October with occasional long-lasting spells of low-pressure induced rains being responsible for delayed cultivation of vegetables. The prices will come down with the arrival of new crops, he added.