Veg prices soar by up to 53pc as deliveries slump
Nov 9, 2017-Vegetable prices in the Kathmandu Valley have soared due to a drop in supply, shipment delays and the hoopla over the coming elections. As per the Kalimati Fruits and Vegetable Market Development Board, fresh produce has become dearer by up to 53 percent.
Deliveries to the Kalimati market, one of the largest vegetable markets in the Valley, have shrunk by 17 percent.
According to the board, bitter gourd and spinach leaf saw the sharpest rise in prices of Rs40 per kg since October 25. Bitter gourd now costs Rs115 per kg and spinach leaf costs Rs105 per kg.
Likewise, prices of small tomato and big tomato jumped by Rs35 and Rs30 per kg respectively over the review period. Carrot, cabbage, local cauliflower, French bean, onion green and mushroom now cost Rs20 per kg more. Similarly, red potato, dry onion, brinjal and squash have become dearer by Rs10 per kg.
The vegetable harvesting season starts at the end of October, according to the board. “However, supply has remained low this year,” said Binay Shrestha, deputy director of the board, adding that prices had risen mainly due to the short supply seen in recent days.
According to him, vegetable deliveries to the Kalimati market have dropped to about 540 tonnes from the usual 650-700 tonnes. “Farmers suffered crop losses due to heavy rain during the monsoon, and the vegetables planted during the following growing season are yet to mature,” Shrestha said.
Shrestha said that only vegetables grown by tunnel farming in adjoining districts were arriving in the Valley. “Due to a drop in production in the Tarai region, farmers are reportedly exporting tomatoes to India where they fetch as much as IRs90 per kg.”
Meanwhile, deliveries to the Balkhu Vegetable and Fruits Market, another major vegetable supplier in the Valley, have also fallen to 450-500 tonnes from 650 tonnes.
Executive director of the market Ram Krishna Kunwar said transportation delays caused by the poor condition of the Prithvi Highway and increased election campaign activity had also affected supply. “Perishable farm products go to waste in case of transportation delays,” Kunwar said.
Published: 09-11-2017 08:40