Veggie prices soar as heavy rain hits output

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
Veggie prices soar as heavy rain hits output

Sep 24, 2014-

Vegetable prices in the Kathmandu valley leapt up to 50 percent over the last two weeks as a result of high demand and low supply. Traders said that a drop in shipments due to heavy rain in many parts of the country pushed up prices.

Cauliflower, one of the widely consumed vegetables, has become dearer by more than 50 percent. Compared to Rs 50-60 per kg two weeks ago, cauliflower now costs Rs 85-90 per kg in the local market. Similarly, ladies’ finger now costs Rs 80 per kg, up from Rs 65-70 per kg earlier.

Egg plant prices have soared to Rs 45-50 per kg from Rs 35 while pointed gourd rose to Rs 70 per kg from Rs 60 earlier. Sponge gourd is being sold at Rs 65 per kg, against Rs 40-45 per kg two weeks ago. Tomato prices are still on the higher side. The vegetable is being sold for Rs 70-80 per kg.  

Binay Shrestha, senior planning officer of the Kalimati Fruits and Vegetables Market Development Board, said that supplies had been fluctuating in recent days with a drop in output in major growing areas.

“Major vegetable suppliers in the Tarai and hill regions have experienced a decline in production due to changing weather conditions, so the market has not been receiving regular supplies,” he said. He added that crop damage caused by heavy rainfall also contributed to the price spike.

Similarly, other wholesale markets reported a surge in prices. According to the data maintained at the Kalimati Fruits and Vegetables Wholesale Market and the Balkhu Agriculture, Vegetables and Fruits Market, vegetable prices have increased as much as two-fold within two weeks.

“Vegetable shipments from across the country have dropped  significantly during the period of Sohra Shraddha when demand for vegetables goes up,” said Shyam Lamichhane, manager at the Balkhu market.

According to traders, the supply of ladies’ finger, which usually comes from Parsa, Sarlahi, Rautahat and Mahottari among other Tarai districts, have stopped due to the damage caused to the standing crops caused by heavy rain. Small amounts are arriving from some hill areas, while the rest of the requirement is being fulfilled by India.

Similarly, a few consignments of capsicum, tomato and chilli are coming from India, according to him. Cauliflower, bitter gourd, cabbage and bottle gourd are being brought from Dhading, Palung, Kavre, Bhaktapur and Lalitpur districts.     

Meanwhile, traders said that prices would start to fall in a few days with a slowdown in demand. “The Sohra Shraddha ceremonies ended on Wednesday, and many people are leaving the Kathmandu valley to celebrate Dashain, so demand will slump which will lead to a fall in prices,” said Bharat Khatiwada, a wholesaler at the Kalimati market.

Published: 25-09-2014 09:54

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