Vegetable, fruit prices skyrocket over year

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
Vegetable, fruit prices skyrocket over year

Jul 17, 2014-

Prices of vegetables and fruits have skyrocketed in the Kathmandu valley over the course of a year. According to the Kalimati Fruits and Vegetables Market Development Board (KFVMDB), potato, cabbage, mustard leaf, cucumber and carrot have become the most expensive vegetables in town.

Wholesale prices of potato have soared to Rs 31 per kg (up 55 percent) and of carrot to Rs 85 per kg (up 77 percent).

Red potato, which was being sold at Rs 24 per kg in July last year, now costs Rs 37 per kg. Cabbage prices doubled from Rs 15 to Rs 30 per kg in a year.

Traders attributed the sharp rise in prices to supply falling short of demand. Binay Shrestha, senior planning officer at KFVMDB, said that vegetable prices shot up this July due to low production.

“Because of sparse rainfall, harvests have been hit hard in many areas in the country” he added.

According to the board, the market has been receiving an average of 700 tonnes of vegetables daily against 750 tonnes last year.

Ujjwal Karki, president of the Kalimati Fruits and Vegetables Wholesalers’ Association, said that harvests fell this year as many farmers had been totally focused on growing tomatoes. “Farmers were getting Rs 35-40 per kg for their tomatoes last year, so many farmers switched to tomato farming and sidelined other vegetables.”

Meanwhile, prices of fruits have increased by up to 90 percent compared to last year. Apples now cost Rs 200 per kg wholesale, up from Rs 105 last year. Similarly, bananas are selling at Rs 85 per kg in the wholesale market while they cost Rs 55 per kg last year. Pineapples cost Rs 95 per unit, up from Rs 65 last year.    

Amar Baniya, president of the Kuleshwor Fruits Wholesalers’ Association, said that prices increased due to low production in the country and price rise in India which fulfils most of the domestic requirement. He added that fruit shipments to the Kuleshwor market had fallen 15-20 percent this year.

“This year, the mango crop was down 40 percent and the banana fell around 25 percent,” said Baniya. “Consumption of fruits has been rising but production has remained the same.”

Prices compared

Vegetable            July 17, 2014         July 17, 2013          

Potato red             Rs 37 per k g         Rs 24 per kg

Potato white         Rs 31 per kg           Rs 20 per kg

Carrot                    Rs 85 per kg           Rs 48 per kg

Cabbage               Rs 30 per kg          Rs 15 per kg   

Mustard leaf         Rs 68 per kg           Rs 38 per kg

Cucumber            Rs 54 per kg           Rs 33 per kg

Apple                     Rs 200 per kg         Rs 105 per kg

Banana                 Rs 85 per kg            Rs 55 per kg  

Pineapple             Rs 95 per kg            Rs 65 per kg  

Papaya                  Rs 75 per kg             Rs 53 per kg


Published: 18-07-2014 09:16

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