Vegetables prices soar, make hole in consumers’ pocket in Odisha
Rain-fed Sundargarh district that witnesses surplus vegetable production often leading to distress sale has been in the throes of shortage this year leading to skyrocketing prices.
ROURKELA: Rain-fed Sundargarh district that witnesses surplus vegetable production often leading to distress sales has been in the throes of shortage this year leading to skyrocketing prices.
Market sources said prices of almost all vegetables are shooting through the roof with beans at Rs 160 per kg going beyond the reach of common man. Pointed-gourd, carrot and brinjal are selling at Rs 80 per kg, while capsicum and tomato are costlier at Rs 120 per kg with some retailers charging Rs 140. This pricing is likely to continue till arrival of locally grown crops from August end, they added.
Sources said during the kharif crop season starting from June and the rabi crop season starting from October the district becomes surplus producer of different vegetable crops with Nuagaon block leading while other blocks including Kuarnmunda, Bisra, Lathikata, Lahunipada, Bonai, Rajgangpur, Kutra, Bargaon and Balishankara blocks known to be bulk producers.
Nuagoan farmer Subodh Minz said usually a majority of vegetable growers relying on monsoon go for single vegetable crops in a year during kharif season. Many farmers who depend on soil moisture and assured irrigation, prefer vegetable cultivation during rabi season. Due to this, most of the vegetable crops are abundantly available in the local markets and at times bumper production of particular vegetables leads to distress sale, he said, adding, barring a handful of farmers, a majority sit idle after single cultivation of different crops.
Sundargarh deputy director of horticulture Mansingh Soren said vegetable crops are cultivated over 23,000-25,000 hectare (ha) during the kharif and the cultivation coverage further increases to about 37,500 ha during rabi season. “During the lean period of post-rabi from March to June, vegetable cultivation coverage shrinks to less than 4,000 ha and mostly done in Sundargarh sub-division,” Soren said.
Nuagaon farmer Sukra Xalxo said with proper planning and conducive environment farmers should be encouraged for third cultivation for horticulture crops.